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My interview in the leading news tabloid of Kuwait – The Times Kuwait

Rashmi Gandhi Interview Link

Rashmi Gandhi — Aiming for greatness

Archery is a rare sport to be interested in, but for Rashmi Gandhi, it is a passion. The three-time gold-medal winner at state championships in Rajasthan and at the National Games in Faridabad, Kolkata and Jamshedpur, was inspired by her wins to start the Gandhi Archery Club in Mumbai with her husband. It was very successful, she was popular with her students and many of them performed very well and went on to win gold and silver medals in district championships. After leaving her old life behind in India, she settled in Kuwait with her family and now hopes to start an archery club and begin coaching students here. Mrs. Gandhi sat down with The Times Kuwait to discuss her favorite hobby.

Can you give us a brief overview of archery?

Archery is sport that requires not only a bow and arrow, but also involves a focussed mental concentration and a strong arm. In order to become good in archery, you have to shoot 100 to 200 arrows regularly. Practice is very important, the game depends on it. The more you practice the better you will become at the game.

Archery is easy to learn but it depends on equipment, and nowadays, there are new types of equipment. When I played in India, we had to make do with wooden arrows and bows. Nowadays, there are fibre bows. Archery has become more modernized from the traditional way it was played. The fibre equipment gives the archer better accuracy and more power and the ability to hit the target consistently. My favourite brand is Hoyt. It is very professional, sturdy, and offers good accuracy.

How did you get interested in it, and what excites you about archery?

I was attracted to archery in my school days, and at 14, I saw local archers practice. I just felt this calling inside me. I convinced the coach to let me try, and he gave me 5 arrows for my first attempt. Three of my arrows hit the target in the first round. He saw the potential in me and decided to train me, and that year, I won the district championship in Dungarpur, Rajasthan and later became state champion in Jaipur. At the national level, I participated in competitions four times. The national level archery is very exciting, and I still hope to be there again in the future to experience the exhilaration.

What are some of the health benefits of archery?

Archery helps your concentration, your physique and it is good for your posture. It helps improve your eyesight and with the breathing exercises, you strengthen your lungs. In the proper stance for holding a bow, you have to stand straight and pull it across your chest, which is equivalent to pulling about 20kg and this helps develop the muscles in your upper body.

When you shoot an arrow, you have to hold your breath, and release it only when it hits your target. An archer is more focused because there are many targets and he has to focus on only one.  When someone joins in childhood, then he knows what he wants and can develop more interest in it to take to higher level.

Archery improves your concentration as you have to release the arrow from far distances. It increases your energy and stamina, as you required to shoot 100 practice arrows.  In the competition, within 2 minutes you have to shoot three arrows, and you have to shoot 36 arrows in all.

Why do you want to teach archery to Kuwaitis and expats?

It is my passion, so I want to practice the sport often and enjoy it regularly.  I want to share it and get people interested in it.  When the children pick it up at an early age and enjoy it, it is more satisfying. I have trained 200 people, from small ages 8 years to 45 years.  I had the Gandhi Archery Club back in Mumbai. I want expats and Kuwaitis to benefit from exercising their mind and body. Archery builds self-dependence and individual talent, and people feel proud of their own performance when they get results.

What are some problems you have faced starting an archery club in Kuwait?

I am struggling to continue my career as an archery coach here in Kuwait. There are no avenues to practice archery; it is not very popular here. We also have to get special permission as archery tools are classified as weapons, and it is also difficult to move around with the equipment, especially with the police checking making it difficult. We are eager to start an archery club in one of the schools and teach children, but the process seems difficult.

I have been getting regular inquiries from people interested in learning and practicing archery and willing to send their children for archery practice. However, there has to be some initiative from a well-connected person to set up archery club. We have to fill up the paperwork and get legal permission, so that it is accepted along the local authorities.

Do you feel archery is given enough attention as a competitive sport in India?

Archery is a huge competitive sport in India, and the Indian team has performed very well in the world championships, Olympics and at Asiads. In Jamshedpur, there is a big Tata sponsored training facility, a Sports club that trains students in archery. They pick up students of all ages and they groom them. It is good. But there are many parts of India, like North East, South and even in Maharashtra where they have dedicated sports teams.

Was it hard to get people interested?

Before, when we started in Mumbai, there was nobody but now there are colleges. Before, the sports bodies and colleges and schools didn’t have any equipment. So we supplied it and took the initiative. The sports committee was there and they said they would conduct the competition if my husband and I took the initiative. I coached the schools and we were involved in conducting the competitions. We trained our students, and soon they earned many victories and participated in national teams also.

What was your experience like coaching students for tournaments back in Mumbai?

We had Sunday morning classes for hobbyists; we had children from 8 years to 10 years, and also office going people of the 40 plus age group. People used to come to our school from faraway places as it was the only one.  After the coaching they participated in tournaments and received certificates and medals. There is great scope for archery in India, and many students got admission through sports quota when they applied for Colleges.

Are you in contact with the students you trained?

I am very proud of my students who have become national level coaches in Mumbai now. I trained them to be their best and now they have increased their skill level. I keep in touch and give them advice, and I talk with them often.  Now they are professional coaches and doing well and running their own coaching clubs with over 200 students, some of who have participated in national level competitions also.

What advice do you have for kids that would like to pursue the sport?

If students want to pursue archery they should start young, then their confidence will increase and they will get certificates and medals as they practice and get more experience. Age is no bar for archery practice. And people can take part individually or in a group. And I hope the Kuwait authorities decide to allow archery clubs in schools or let us work with the hotels and resorts to include archery as a hobby or recreational activity.

By Christina Pinto
Staff Writer

Well, till now Archery in Kuwait is the exclusive domain of the Kuwaitis.

But, we are working with a private club, Mayadeen, to start archery for one and all.

Yes, that is for expats and Kuwaits and all visitors.

We hope to get the necessary permissions from the government authorities soon. It is being delayed, but we are persistent, till we get it.

And hopefully, we can have the sessions starting from Nov. Inshallah.

All the best to the archery enthusiasts in Kuwait.

if you can help in anyway, you are welcome to lend a helping hand.

Cheers

Rashmi Gandhi

Register here – http://tinyurl.com/Q8Archery

Dear All,

I have been trying my best to get a breakthrough to start coaching archery to the general interested public and school students, but have reached a dead end.

The Kuwait Govt authorities have but archery equipments on par with the Ammunition category (rather than sports) and that makes anybody trying to get this items legally into Kuwait, a culprit. So many are schools and individuals are hesitant to go for it.

So anybody interested in promoting archery and having good contacts with the authorities, who can assist me in starting coaching for all expats and Kuwaiti, will be of great help.

Thanks,

Rashmi Gandhi

M 66013056

Archery at its best

I was called to the Kuwait Shooting Federation a few days back and they told me that they we have an archery camp in December. There will also be a advertisement in the newspapers about the same.

So all archery enthusiasts keep visiting this blog for news about archery in Kuwait.

rashmi-ghandi-archer (click on the link for a PDF file)

rashmi-gandhi-archer-arabic (click on this link for PDF file)

راشمي راجيش غاندي – رام

تعتبر الArchery is an unusual sport, usually seen in the movies, and history books rather than at the local sports club, but Rashmi and Rajesh Ghandi are crazy about it.رمايه هي أحد أكثر الرياضات الفريدة من نوعها في العالم،  فلطالما شاهدنا ممارستها في أفلام السينما أوألعاب الفيديو، وقرآنا عنها الكثير في كتب التاريخ، حيث لم تعد تمارس في الوقت الحاضر بالنوادي الرياضية المحلية. ولكن، مع راشمي راجيش غاندي الأمر مختلف إلا حد ما، فهي من هواة وعشاق هذه الرياضة الفريدة. تقول السيدة Rajesh says “Once you start this activity you will be mad about it.راجيش: “عندما تبدأ ممارسة هذه اللعبة فإنه قد يصيبك نوع من الجنون من حبها، إنها لعبةIt is a very exciting and powerful game.” As I sit in their Salmiya living room looking through Rashmi’s archery scrapbook her eyes glow with excitement as she talks about the sport.إنهابيبيش  مثيرة جدا” وما علينا إلا أن نجلس في غرفة المعيشة وأن نشاهد وهج الحماس المنطلق من عيني راشمي عشقا لهذه الرياضة “الرماية”. ظلت راشمي متربعة على عرش بطولة الهند لمدة Rashmi was a three time state champion in Rajasthan and a competitor at the National Games in Faridabad, Kolkata and Jamsheثلاثة سنوات في راجستان، كما انخرطت في المنافسات والالعاب الوطنية في ريداباد ، كولكاتا وجامشيبور.

She became interested in the sport at 16 after watching local archers practice.اهتمت راشمي بشكل كبير بهذا النوع من الرياضية منذ نعومة أظفارها من خلال مشاهدة الرماة المحلييون وهم يمارسونها إلى أن بلغت ربيعها السادس عشر حتى انخرطت فيها. بعدها استطاعتShe managed to convince the coach to let her try, and after landing 3 out of 5 of her arrows on the target her first time shooting; the coach took her under his wing.اسبي العمل على اقناع المدرب للسماح لها بمحاولة الرمي بالسهام فتمكنت من اصابة الهدف منذ المحاولة الأولى وكذلك لعدة مراة متتالية فكان أداؤها بمثابة اطلاق النار على الهدف، عندها أخد المدرب على عاتقه بأن يحتض أداءها وأن يضمها في صفوف الرماة المحترفين. وWithin a year she won the district championship in Dungarpur and later became state champion in Jaipur.في غضون سنة حصلت على بطولة المنطقة في دونغاربور واصبحت الأخيرة محطة رائدة فى جايبور وهي إحدى الولايات الهندية. عملت راميش جاهدة على تحقيق أحلامها فأصبحت تدرس هذه الرياضة في كلية الآداب والعلوم التابعة للمؤسسة الوطنية للطلبة كما ساهمت أيضا في افتتاح نادي الرمايه إلا جانب زوجها راجيش في ولاية مومباي.

يصف راجيش هذه الرياضة بالقول “Archery helps your concentration, your physique, it’s good for your posture, your eyesight and is an excellent breathing exercise.” Says Rajesh as he demonstrates the proper stance for holding a bow.“إن المواظبة على رياضة الرماية يساعد من الناحية الصحية على بقاء عضلات الجسم قوية وصلبة، كما أن عملية التركيز على الهدف تنشط وتقوي البصر والذهن وهي أيضا تساعد على عملية التنفس بشكل مريح” ويبن لنا مدى“You need to have a lot of energy and stamina you shoot 100 practice arrows in the morning and then another 100 arrows in the even حاجتنا الى المزيد من الطاقة الجسدية من خلال  اطلاق 100 من السهام في التمرين الصباحي ومثلهم أيضا في فترة المساء. إن هذه الرياضة الشيقة وكما يقول راجيش تنشط الذهن والبدن بشكل كبير كما أنها تعتمد اعتمادا كبيرا على عمر وجنس الإنسان الممارس لهذه اDuring a competition you shoot 144 arrows, plus your practice arrows in one day.” Archery is both a physically and mentally demanding sport, with competitions lasting 12 rounds and targets ranging in distance from 30 – 90 meters depending لرياضة.

تعبر Rashmi looks wistful as she shows me pictures of the archery club she ran with her husband in Mumbai.راشمي عن مدى حزنها لعدم احتضان وتوفر الدعم المادي والمعنوي لاستمرار هذا النوع من الرياضات الفريدة وعدم انقراضها، فتقول: ” أتذكر في ذهني صورة نادي الرمايه عندما كنت وزوجي في مومباي، ففي صباح كل يوم أحد Sunday morning classes were very popular and they attracted enthusiasts of all ages.يبييبدأ الرواد والهواة باستقطات المتحمسين من جميع الأعمار، منهم الChildren as young as 8-10 are able to learn archery, she explains “as at this age they are strong enough to draw the bow and are mature enough to respect the bow and arrow for what they are.اطفال الصغار في سن الثامنة والذين يستطيعون تعلم الرمايه في فترة قصيرة، وتصف لنا أيضا ” إن الأطفال في مثل هذا العمر يتعلمون بسرعة ودهاء وذلك ما يدعوهم إلى احترام وتقدير هذه اللعبة ومعرفة ماهية القوس والسهم والعلاقة فيما بينهما. فهم Once you string the arrow it has enough power to go through your body.It takes at least 3 months to really learn the basics, along with lots of practice and small adjustments; this is a long term game.”يستغرقون من الوقت ما لا يقل عن الثلاثة أشهر لمعرفة هذه الحقيقة وتعلم الأسس والمبادئ والكثير من الممارسات التقنية، إنها لعبة طويلة الأمد”.

بدأت راشمي وSince coming to Kuwait a year ago Rashmi has hoped to start teaching archery again, and has had interest from resorts and schools around Kuwait.منذ وصولها الى دولة الكويت قبل عام برسم خطتها بأن تبدأ بتعليم فن وأساليب الرمايه للهواة والمحترفين، فانصب اهتمامها على المنتجعات السياحية والمدارس في جميع انحاء الكويت. However, she has encountered difficulties in importing the bows and arrows necessary for training as they are classified as weapons.غير أنها واجهت صعوبات في عملية استيراد الأقواس والسهام اللازمة لعملية التدريب، فهذا النوع من المعدات الرياضية يعتبر من أحد أنواع الأسلحة الخفيفة. She is hopeful that regulations will change in the future and she will be able to start teaching again. وهي تأمل بأن يكون هناك نوع من الشروط الجمركية التي تسمح في المستقبل باستيراد تلك المعدات، وإلا فإنها لن تتمكن من البدء في تعليم هذه الرياضة مرة اخرى.