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What is the full form of AAFI ?
The history of athletics in India dates back to pre-independence. The Summer Olympics of 1900 saw the first participation of India where an anglo Indian named Norman Pitchard won silver medal. This was the beginning of India’s entry into international championships which was followed by many virtuous and proud events. Through this article we will discuss the foundation and activities of the Athletics Federation of India whose foundation in 1946 created enormous opportunities for various athletics talents in the country.
The Athletics Federation of India is the top organisation for management of athletics in India. There are around 32 institutional and state units currently affiliated with AFI. The AFI was founded in 1946. The AFI was previously known as the Amateur Athletics Federation of India and its head office is located in Delhi. This association is registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. It is affiliated to World Athletics through which it is affiliated to Asian Athletics Association. The current President of AFI is Adille Sumariwala and the General Secretary is Ravinder Chaudhry.
The AFI also holds championships in the national and international platforms with the aim of popularising the athletic games among the people and encouraging them to participate. This kind of popularisation also helps in generating economic benefits for the athletes and for the future of the games. The organisation also helps its state units in conducting various meets, championships, training and coaching of athletes registered under them besides helping the units to popularise the games at the local level.
Some of the championships organised by AFI include Asian Junior Championships, South Asian Championships, World Half-Marathon Championships, Commonwealth games, Asian Grand Prix, etc.
One of the annual competitions is the National Inter-District Juniors Athletics Meet. This is an innovative sports programme that recognises and chooses champions from more than 260 districts across India and gives them a national stage to perform, develop, and be chosen for the Indian National camp and subsequent selection for international competition. The NID Championship develops over 3,500 young athletes. Following a qualification tournament held in each district, a total of 13 athletes, along with one coach and manager, represent each district. The NID-JAM has seen 12 iterations so far, with a maximum of 3,500 athletes from 260 districts taking part.
IAAF-AFI KIDS ATHLETICS
This program was launched in 2003 and is a grassroot initiative to encourage students at different schools to take part in physical activities, especially athletics. Since the inception of the program approximately 19 states have adopted the Kids Athletics programme.
Objectives of the AFI
Since its foundation it has trained many Indian athletes, National Champions, conducted Championships, chose Indian Athletic teams for participating in national and international championships. Similarly, it has chosen athletics for participating in Olympic games, Asian Games, CWG and other international meets and championships. Some of its objectives are −
To support and grow Indian athletics.
To plan and manage India's athletics
To offer equipment for athletic and physical workout training.
To provide as much financial support as possible to assist athletes, officials, national and international units for training purposes, resources, literature requests, competition invitations, seminar and meeting attendance, etc.
To impart the most recent technologies and knowledge to athletes and their coaches.
enforce all international organisation policies and guidelines that pertain to athletics.
To be the recognised authority on all issues pertaining to athletics in India.
To take disciplinary action against any affiliated District, State, or Unit organisation for misbehaviour or any undesirable activity that brings harm to the nation, AFI, athletics, or is detrimental to the interests of society, as well as for failing to organise meets at the State and District levels and sending teams to different competitions.
To build positive relationships with other nations by inviting their teams and officials, sending Indian athletes and officials for training and competition, sending our delegation, officials, and coaches abroad, and covering their travel costs.
Hence, it can be concluded that the formation of AFI not only created a platform for the smooth management of athletics in India but also nurtured new talents by providing them the opportunity to sharpen their talent and create a living. Through its international collaborations it has facilitated the development and modernisation of Indian athletics by fostering development of infrastructure and gaining resourcefulness.
Q1. Where did the last Commonwealth Games take place?
Ans. The latest Commonwealth Games took place in 2022 at Birmingham. The games is considered as the largest game in the history of the Commonwealth due to participation from 72 nations.
Q2. Name one popular Indian athlete.
Ans. Neeraj Chopra is a popular Indian Athlete who is the first Indian to win a gold medal in javelin throw. He made India proud at the Tokyo Olympics.
Q3. Who is Milkha Singh?
Ans. Milkha Singh is an Indian athlete who was a former sprinter. He is also popularly known as ‘The Flying Singh’ due to his exceptional speed and for winning a gold medal at both Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
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