Dharamsala to host 36th National Masters Athletics Championship from April 16 to 19
Author(s): Arvind SharmaDharamsala, February 5, 2015: To promote athletics amongst those whom, people think, have passed their prime, the Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI) has decided to organise the 36th National Championship...
Dharamsala, February 5, 2015: To promote athletics amongst those whom, people think, have passed their prime, the Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI) has decided to organise the 36th National Championship from April 16 to 19, at Dharamsala in collaboration with its Himachal Pradesh unit.
Describing this at Dharamsala on Thursday Manmohan Singh, General Secretary, Masters Athletics Association of Himachal (MAAHP) said, “More than 4000 participants are expected to participate in this 4 days sports extravaganza, in which teams from all 29 states and Union territories will participate .”
He further said that a total of 26 athletics events both in men and women section shall be organised on the newly laid athletics track at Dharamsala in the age group category from 35 to 80 and above.
He said that an Indian contingent to participate in the World Masters Athletics to be held in Lyon France (June 2015), will also be selected here after the event.
It was an idea of "Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh, to create All India Veteran Athletic Association in 1978,that mobilised elderly people to take part in outdoor activities like athletics to combat aging and live a healthy life . The first national meet of this association was conducted in Chandigarh in 1979.
Milkha Singh joined hands with a Singapore based Olympian Harichandra and Asian Veteran body came in to existence in 1980. First Asian Meet was organised in 1981 at Singapore in which ten countries took part.
We can find sea changes in this format. In the last three decades many things have changed. It has changed from Veteran to Master and many new athletic events have been introduced. Today Masters Athletics Federation of India (MAFI) is an affiliated unit of World Masters body.
Singh said, “Today all the athletes, both men and women, above the age of 35 and 30 respectively are eligible to take part in any of the athletic events during state or national level competitions. If we go by 2013 National Championship at Jaipur, more than 2500 athletes, both men and women, representing 23 states took part in it.”
He said that it is a matter of great pride that our athletes have started winning medals on foreign soil. Recently concluded PAN American games at Queensland, Australia is the burning example, 23 athletes won 9 medals.