EVENT Ajay Singh, a successful ten-pin bowler, is heading towards a good run in politics
Sports and politics often make unpleasant bedfellows, but there are times when they co-exist happily. It is not known which of the two came first in Ajay Singh’s life but the tenpin-bowler’s formal entry into politics has prompted much cheer among Karnataka’s sports community.
In March, the 39-year-old-son of the former Chief Minister Dharam Singh – was elected a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Jewargi. Last week, Singh was felicitated by the Tenpin Bowling Federation of India (TBFI) – of which he is vice-president – for his political success. “It is rather heartening to see a sportsman in politics,” the TBFI president Karti Chidambaram said. “It raises the profile of the sport, more so at a time when there is a clamour to keep politicians out of sports administration.”
Singh, who represented India at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, recounted his good times as a bowler. “My dream was to turn out for my country in any sport; those two weeks in Doha were the best days of my life,” he said. “I haven’t actually retired yet,” he joked, to some mirth. “I missed the national championship some years ago just by a couple of pins. My aim is to come back and win that title.”
The chief guest on the occasion was K. Abhayachandra Jain, the Karnataka Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs. Responding to entreaties from the TBFI for a permanent site to base bowling activities, Jain promised to help. “We will provide all help possible so that you can concentrate on producing champions,” he said.