Though brewing since long – the infighting between coaches and irregularities in functioning — Gujarat State Roller Skating Association’s (GSRSA) inability to resolve matters within have finally led to a disaffiliation of the body by Roller Skating Federation of India (RSFI). The move, two months ago, has left promising talent in the lurch for want of a training ground and competent coaches.
Meanwhile, since the disaffiliation, GSRSA appointed a new president in February. The new incumbent, Sanjay Rana, expressed concern at the high-handedness shown by RSGFI and shared: “We did not receive any official confirmation from the RSFI on the suspension. It is a serious matter to have been disaffiliated as a state body. We are working out the solution.”
Insiders at GSRSA on conditions of anonymity, shared that favouritism had become rampant. “A handful were favoured and given the chance to represent Gujarat at major national events. This led to one upmanship among coaches. Plus, the trigger point between RSFI and GSRSA was the National Games. RFSI wanted a demo act to showcase roller hockey as an upcoming discipline. However, GSRSA refused to entertain the request. That was the final blow after which came the suspension,” shared a senior coach.
Unfortunately, caught in the crossfire is the game and its players. When asked for his view, Naresh Sharma, general secretary, RSFI, stated: “GSRSA was suspended on December 31, 2022. We received several complaints against its functioning and sought documents to verify the charges. Despite several reminders, GSRSA did not revert. The secretary wrote back saying that they were busy with internal elections since the president had resigned.” He added that a survey, meanwhile, revealed that district associations were not regularised and no proper audits were being carried out.
“Gujarat was among the top three in skating at National Games and the first state ever to be conferred Arjuna Award in the sport. We have formed an ad hoc committee to ensure that the interest of players is not compromised till matters are sorted,” Sharma briefed.