Rubbish place gradually transformed into a training ground for national and international archers

The role of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in the promotion of archery is praiseworthy as the decision by the then Commissioner P.S. Pradhymna to allot land for an exclusive academy (VMC Volga Archery Academy) came as a well-timed gesture. The archers went ahead and trained in a more organised and systematic manner. First Result: a Commonwealth Games silver medal.

“The archers used to practise in a half-hearted manner at the IGMC Stadium as they were afraid of hurting the other sportsmen playing close to the shooting arena. Efforts by the administrators for an exclusive range paid off as VMC allotted the area adjacent to Sridhar Rubber Factory at Mahanadu Road in July 2009,” said Regional Deputy Director (SAAP) G. Chinnaiah.

The land (10 feet in width and 228 meters in length) was once dumping yard of Autonagar and used mostly by the workforce as a public lavatory.

It was the hub for pigs, stay dogs, and nefarious activities.

Much to the surprise and delight of the locals the rubbish place was gradually transformed into a training ground for national and international archers.

“It is more like a park with greenery and with facilities to practise archery without any hindrance,” said Ch. Satyanarayana, chairman of the academy.

The archery administrators worked day and night for the levelling of the uneven surface. “VMC gave us support by providing, electricity, street lights, water and also permission to construct temporary sheds for the residential archers to stay,” Mr. Satyanarayana added. The corporation also provided 100-foot wire fence atop of sidewalls to prevent the missed arrows entering the road.

“Last week Commissioner G. Ravi Babu provided five flood lights to help archers train at night and also 15 trucks-full of soil for levelling purpose,” Mr. Satyanarayana said. Many archers desire to have a gymnasium so that they can concentrate on physical fitness on a par with other international archers.

The untimely death of Ch. Lenin, international archer-cum-coach from Vijayawada dealt a severe blow to the academy but undeterred the archers are forging ahead bringing laurels to Vijayawada with gusto.

That the academy has produced 25 international archers in both boys and girls segments from a two-tier city such as Vijayawada itself is a great achievement and that no Indian compound team leaves the shore without an archer from Vijayawada makes the denizens hearts swell with pride.

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