Ladakh has taken a sporting milestone by making its debut in the national championships here.

Prior to that, the participation of Ladakhi archers, as part of Jammu and Kashmir, in the national championships was minimal.

Gulzar Ahmed Khan, former archer and manager of the Ladakh team, hopes that participation in the elite event will promote sport in the Union territory.

Archery and polo are traditional sports in Ladakh. It’s in our blood. In 2014 we started recurve and composed archery – watching it on YouTube. Stanzin Doller, our only graduate trainer from INS, oversaw our preparations for a while.

“We got our affiliation in 2020. We held preliminary trials at Kargil and Leh and a final selection trial. We had about a week to train and then we came here, ”said a proud Ahmed Khan. The Hindu.

He highlighted the challenges. “Equipment is expensive, but authorities have promised to launch a program with a 75% subsidy on equipment.

“Plus, we come from a cold region. If we have 10-15 days of training before a big event, then our boys will do well. We just need to be informed a little earlier, ”he said.

Compound archer Stanzin Jigdal said: “It’s great to participate here. Hopefully this will inspire others.

Coach Doller, who learned archery at Chandigarh University and competed in national championships, wanted his trainees to excel at international events. “There were no coaches in Ladakh, that’s why I did the NIS (diploma). For the past two years, I have coached children and para-archers in my academy.

“My parents ask, ‘Why are you doing something without getting paid?’ With progress, there will be more coaches. I want my kids to do what I couldn’t, ”Doller said.