Top 6 Questions with : Anju Bobby George, Indian long jumper
Updated on: 28 Jun 2016
The celebrated Indian long-jumper warned that other Indian sporting greats would think twice before getting into sports administration.
Few women have rewritten record books as much as Anju Bobby George. In 2003 at Paris, she became India's only medal winner at the World Championships in athletics, jumping a height of 6.70 metres to win a bronze in the long jump event. A year later at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, she set an Indian record for the long jump which still stands, jumping a distance of 6.83 m. And finally in 2005, she won gold at the World Athletics finals.
The 39-year old is an inspiration for many promising talents in the state where she hails from, Kerala. But unfortunately her tenure as president of the Kerala Sports Council was brought to an end in an unseemly controversy in June. George filed a complaint against the newly-appointed Kerala sports minister EP Jayarajan accusing the minister of abusing and harassing her. Later in the month, she stepped down from the post, citing untenable circumstances.
In a quick interview with Scroll, George warned that other Indian athletes would think twice before getting into sports administration, after the way she was treated.
Could you elaborate on the reasons behind your resignation from the Kerala Sports Council?
A. It started when we went to meet the newly-appointed Kerala sports minister, EP Jayarajan. The way he responded to us was not how we expected. All the transfers and appointments we had suggested were being questioned and we were called corrupt. He accused us of all being directly elected members of the previous government. His demeanour was totally wrong.
It was not our fault that we were appointed by the previous United Democratic Front government. We are only sports persons – we do not belong to any party. Sports is our party and our religion.
When did you decide to get involved with Kerala sports?