JJ Irani felicitates Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat for winning World Cup medals
TAA has been instrumental is nurturing local sporting talent: Chanakya Chaudhary
Jamshedpur, Oct 4: The Tata Archery Academy (TAA), set-up by Tata Steel Sports Division to tap the archery skills of the tribal populations living in the geographies where Tata Steel operates, turned 25 today.
The academy was formally inaugurated on October 4, 1996 by Dr Jamshed J Irani, former director, Tata Sons. Dr Irani was the Chief Guest during the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the academy held at the JFC Media Room, JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur today.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Irani congratulated Tata Archery Academy for completing 25 glorious years and wished them all the best for many more such milestones. He reminisced his association with the academy and highlighted on the objective with which the academy was born. He said: “The TAA was founded to promote archery in the country and tap the latent talent in the remote areas where our plants and mines operate. I am happy to note that it has lived up to its expectations.”
Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel said, “TAA has been instrumental is nurturing local sporting talent. The archers only needed a small push with some formal training to become world class athletes. The academy has been instrumental in finding talent from the interior areas of the country and will continue to invest in the cause of archery and strive for excellence in future endeavours.”
Sanjeev Kumar Choudhary, President, Tata Workers` Union lauded the efforts of TAA for creating wonderful infrastructure which has helped cadets to win medals at national and international archery championships.
The 25th anniversary celebrations also saw Dr Irani felicitating archers Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat. Komalika Bari had joined Tata Archery Academy in 2016 and made her mark in international competitions and won a gold medal at the World Archery Youth Championship held in Madrid, Spain, in 2019. She had also won a gold medal in the Indian Women’s Recurve Archery ‘Team Category’ in the Archery World Cup held in Guatemala in 2021.
Ankita Bhakat, meanwhile, had joined TAA in 2014. At the 2021 Archery World Cup, she won the gold medal as part of India’s Recurve Women’s Team and the bronze in India’s Recurve Mixed Team. At the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021, she won gold medal as part of the women’s team, defeating Mexico 5-1 in the finals.
Both the archers have been selected to represent India at the Senior Archery World Championship being held in the USA.
Vote of thanks was proposed by Mr Farzan Heerjee, Chief, Protocol & Sports, Tata Steel where he thanked the National Archery Association and Jharkhand Archery Association for supporting TAA in all its endeavours and taking archery to the international level. He also thanked past and present management of Tata Steel and TAA and TWU for their unrelenting support.
Present on the occasion were Dr T Mukherjee, Former Deputy Managing Director (Steel), Tata Steel, Mr Shailesh Kumar Singh, Deputy President, Tata Workers’ Union, Mr Pramod Chandurkar, Secretary General of Archery Association of India, Mr Mukul Vinayak Choudhari, Chief Sports Excellence Centres, TFA & Sports, Tata Steel, heads of various Tata Steel group companies, former and present coaches, archers and cadets of TAA, among others.
Since archery is a preferred sport among the community, especially tribal youth, living in and around our areas of operations, TAA was formed in 1996 to identify and train potential among the youth in archery and inspire them to achieve excellence in national and international-level archery tournaments. The academy organises talent search programmes, identifies and trains young archers and equips them to achieve their goals.
The cadets are provided with a world-class ecosystem for excellence in archery with state-of-the-art infrastructure and highly qualified coaches. TAA is also accredited to the Khelo India Talent Development Programme of Sports Authority of India.
Over the years, the academy has produced 3 Dronacharya awardees, 2 Padma Shri awardees and 7 Arjuna awardees. TAA has rare distinction of producing as many as 13 Olympians while its cadets have won 213 international medals and 875 medals in national archery tournaments. TAA cadets have participated in 7 Olympic Games, 4 world championships, 3 Asian Games, 7 Asian Championships, 7 Commonwealth Games and 14 Youth World Championships. So far, over 170 cadets have passed out from TAA.