Kathmandu: University Sports Association of Nepal (USAN) is the only institution that seeks to blend academia with sports—two fields which are often viewed as poles apart in Nepal. Established in 2009, USAN has represented Nepal in various world sports activities such as Universiad. Since 2011, it has participated in over 31sessions of universiad.
But it has not been able to function well in recent times due to lack of resources and funds, according to Purna Singh Bohara, the General Secretary of USAN, who has been leading the Nepali delegations in international sports since 2011.
He is unhappy that policy makers and academia did not understand the worth of such a body and the importance of linking sports with academia. “Some people may think I am doing this for fun. They do not understand how important university sports association is,” he said.
Bohara is the one who introduced this concept of university sports in Nepal. “I was the one who first brought this concept to Nepal, and I am proud of this,” he said.
USAN serves as a member organization of International University Sports Federation (FISU). Several colleges are affiliated with USAN and this is a good thing but USAN is struggling with resource crunch, which according to Bohara, no government authority is willing to address. “I have not been able to pay office rent for the last few months,” he said. Things have become more challenging for him as government bodies do not provide financial assistance even as he takes Nepal’s sports delegations to foreign countries in universiad.
For example, he will be leading the delegation to represent Nepal in FISU World University Games being held in Chengdu of China from July end. “It’s an event of international reputation and I am finalizing the names of the delegates and sportspeople to participate in it,” he said. “But the trouble is the participants will have to bear the expenses on their own which they are not willing to do.”
In previous years, USAN did not face such crisis because it would be supported with some money by National Sports Council but for the last two years, USAN has not been given any support by the government authorities. “How will then this institution run?” He asked.
“If the sports council or ministry of education provides even small support, it would mean a lot for us,” Bohara said.
If the universities and their constituent and affiliated colleges raise even the smallest amount of money to contribute for enhancement of USAN, it would take the idea of university sports to a next level, said Bohara.