Archery coach breaks silence on allegations of nepotism

ITANAGAR, Sep 20: Archery coach Taba Nikia, who was recently alleged of getting appointed in the sports department because of his family ties with the Sports director has broken his silence over the controversy and termed the allegation “baseless and concocted.”

In a statement, he said that the whole event has left him deeply traumatized.

“People are making it out to be as if I was selected because of nepotism,  which is wrong. I have performed quite well in the interview in comparison to other candidates. I duly got selected based on my performance in the interview and

as per my qualifications,” said Nikia. He also rubbished allegations that he did not have the required qualifications to be an archery coach.

“I did my schooling from Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA), Chimpu and passed class 10 with 60 percent marks, besides training for archery. Even after passing out from the SLSA, I, along with 12 other students were called to continue training in the school. As the SLSA did not have a higher secondary, we attended Arunodaya School, Itanagar while continuing to train,” said Nikia. Further, he added, “After passing out of class 12, I got admission into reputed Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE), Gwalior through the all India entrance examination. About 6000 students from across India took part in the entrance test that included physical, written, skill, medical, verification of sports certificate, etc. I was selected in the General category under 18th position and my ST rank was 8th position,” added Nikia, who has completed his Bachelor of Physical Education (Integrated Course) four years degree from LNIPE, NERC, Guwahati under LNIPE, Gwalior.

“I won a bronze medal in archery in the Tribal National Archery Championship, Pune in 2011-2012. I also received certificates for participating in various national archery competitions like 31st Sub Junior National Archery Competition, Dhanbad (Jharkhand ) 2011, the 33th Sub Junior National Archery Competition, 2013, the 36th Junior National Archery Competition, Assam Kokrajhar, 2013, the 59th National School Games, Archery Under-17 category, etc.” said Nikia.

He said he has participated in several other such events where he has brought laurels to the state and proudly represented Arunachal Pradesh.

He also claimed that he has won medals in various state level events as well.

“I won the gold in the PYKKA state level championship in archery in 2011 and 2012 and the silver medal in 2013. I also won bronze medals in the first state level Olympic Games in 2015 and school level games in 2011 held at the SLSA, Itanagar. I can cite several such medals to my credit,” Nikia added.

He also worked as a judge in the state level Olympic Games in 2017 and 2020. “I am not trying to prove something by speaking of my achievements. I have been compelled to share these things in public due to attempts to malign my image and my achievements. I had lost my parents at a young age, but I never gave up my dreams and used sports as a means to build my career. Unfortunately, many today have forgotten my hard work and are alleging me of using unfair means to get a job,  which is wrong,” he added.

Further, he informed that after a complaint was lodged, he has been unfairly terminated from the job.

“The Sports department in an unfair manner terminated me from my contractual job under the Khelo India scheme. I have not done anything wrong to be treated like this and will surely explore legal avenues in this regard. This is not the way one should treat a budding coach who dreams to do so much for the state and nation. I am deeply hurt by the actions of the Sports department as well as by people who are trolling me without knowing the truth,” said Nikia.