There’s a certain orderliness about the armed forces. It was no different on Tuesday, when the EME Sailing Association (EMESA), the Artillery Water Sports Association (AWSA), the National Hobie Class Association (NHCA) joined hands with the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) to announce the summer coaching camps in water sports at the Hussainsagar from April 1 to May 31.
Neatly laid out before the EMESA club house were the various craft to be used on the water such as the Optimist, the Laser Standard, the Laser Radial besides the rowing and canoeing boats. Each of them was glistening in the scorching summer sun, testimony to its sound upkeep, despite the severely polluted waters of the historic lake on which they ply most of the time.
“The country’s first Olympian sailor A.A. Basith was from Hyderabad,” pointed out Lt. Col. S.S. Siwatch, Secretary, Laser Class Association of India (LCAI). The said body has been conducting the National regatta with unfailing regularity for about three decades besides producing two-time Asian Games bronze medallist Rajesh Choudhary.
The 60-day camp, while concentrating on children under 16 years, will be open to youth and older participants too, the only mandatory requirement being a knowledge of swimming. Training will be imparted from 6 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. daily by acclaimed coaches in their respective classes such as Dronacharya Ismail Baig, Mithun Chakravarthy, Niteshwari Devi, P. Madhu, Kalaga Yakobu and other seasoned hands who have vast experience in grooming champions.
Safety has been accorded high priority. “Trainees will be wearing life jackets, besides being taught drills to face emergencies when their craft capsize and so on,” said Lt. Col. Siwatch. Rescue boats and life guards will also be at hand. He welcomed the support from SAAP in organising such a well-rounded programme encompassing all the water sports on Hussainsagar. SAAP VC & MD, Dr. T.R.K. Rao is perhaps the most water sports-friendly officer to date, going by the backing he has given. Incidentally, the AP Sports School has been having a joint programme with EMESA for the past two years, with several young boys and girls learning the ropes of this high action sport described often as chess on water. Enthusiastically encouraging the initiative also were NHCA Secretary Major V.C. Kanthwal and K. Narasaiah, Director, AP Sports School.