Wushu, a Chinese martial art, has started lobbying to be included in Bangladesh contingent for the upcoming SA Games in India after the Bangladesh Olympic Association dropped it from the initial list.
Two wushu players — Eti Islam and Mezbahuddin Ahmed — had won gold medals for Bangladesh in last SA Games in 2010 at home but BOA has overlooked it this time due to lack of activities.
Arif Khan Joy, now the deputy minister for youth and sports, led an ad-hoc committee for several years before he assumed his current role. But his committee failed to help the game flourish despite its potential.
Shamim Khan Titu, the elder brother of Joy, was appointed as the president of new ad-hoc committee of Bangladesh Wushu Association last year, but he also could not give the game any impetus.
Players and officials said, the general secretary of the association, DM Rustom, could not give it enough time due to his illness.
A group of ad-hoc committee members, led by its vice-president Alamgir Shah, met the BOA officials on Wednesday to place a request for including the game in the SA Games training.
BOA asked them to come with their president and general secretary so that it can be assured that any fund allocated to them for SA Games purpose will be properly utilised.
‘We want a clear assurance from their top officials before including the game in the Bangladesh contingent,’ BOA’s training and development committee member secretary wing commander Rafiqul Islam told New Age.
‘The door is still open for the game because there is a chance that we can win gold medals from this discipline again with proper care. If they [Bangladesh Wushu Association] want we can form a monitoring committee to run the training programme.’
Wushu association vice-president Alamgir Shah said they are waiting for the return of their president Titu, who is now in Thailand and might return on Sunday.
‘We will meet the BOA officials again once our president returns,’ Alamgir said. ‘I think after the meeting we will get the positive signal from the BOA.’
Alamgir held ‘inactive’ general secretary Rustom for putting the game into an uncertainty.
‘Due to him we are facing difficulties to run the game regularly. He has little interest in the game and yet occupied the post, which I think is unethical.’
Wushu players also earned two bronze medals that contributed to the overall medals tally of Bangladesh
Eti Islam, one of two gold medalists of the 2010 SA Games, pleaded for one last chance to prove her worth. Eti, who won the gold medal in the 52-kg weight category, is now preparing under the coaches of the Bangladesh Army.
‘Even though the federation is yet to give any positive hint, I’m personally preparing myself for participating in the SA Games,’ said 24-year old player.
‘After the 2010 SA Games, I had the chance to participate in only one international meet, the Asian Games in Guangzhou. Since then I was not given any chance to prove myself internationally.
‘We also don’t get enough playing opportunities locally as the federation organised just two national championship in last five years.’
BOA initially selected 17 disciplines – football, hockey, athletics, archery, boxing, badminton, table tennis, kabaddi, shooting, swimming, volleyball, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, cycling, basketball, and handball – for the SA Games.
The 12th edition of the SA Games is scheduled for Indian city of Gawahati and Shillong from January 10-20.
-With New Age input