Cycling fraternity mourn killed coach

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 17:23 hrs

Tributes were paid to national cycling coach Ruma Chatterjee, who died in a hit and run case near Delhi recently while training the Indian squad for the World Championship here on Friday.

The speakers at the condolence meeting, which was held in the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club, also took the opportunity to say how unsafe are the Indian roads for cyclists.

Fifty-four-year-old Ruma Chatterjee, who represented India in International events during the 80s, died on the spot in Delhi-Noida Highway on June 18 in a hit and run case while coaching the National cycling team.

Many of her contemporaries and sports administrators narrating her contribution to the Indian cycling, raised concerns about the safety of the cyclists, particularly sportspersons on the Indian roads.

Ruma, who hailed from the city, was attending the National camp ahead of the Indian team´s visit to Switzerland for training. The four-member Indian team was to participate in the World Championship in Scotland. While she was returning back to her camp on her motorbike, a private car mowed her down from rear killing her on the spot.

The four-wheeler that crushed her to death still remains unidentified.

Indian Cyclist Federation of India´s General Secretary, Onkar Singh leading the condolence meeting said the untimely demise of Ruma Chatterjee was an irreparable loss to India.

He said winning medals by the Indian cyclists at the World Championship would be the best memorial for her.

He said that the federation would also try to have a UCI (International Cyclist Union) training center in New Delhi, in which Ruma had always dreamt of.

Sing said the federation would also try to introduce a trophy in the name of Ruma Chatterjee for the best woman cyclist in India.

He also announced Rs 2 lakh to the bereaved family as one time help.

Ruma is survived by her 77-year-old mother and five sisters.

UCI president Pat Mcquaid in his condolence message mourned the death of the Indian cycling coach saying, "We must work to change the attitude of drivers addressing this issue once and for all to put an end to the pointless loss of innocent lives on the roads."

Mcquaid said Roma had been associated with the cycling for the past 30 years besides representing her country as a player and coach and her death was really shocking.

Former Bengal Olympic Committee President, Paresh Mukherjee said the authorities should ponder on having exclusive areas for the cyclists to practice or else many others like Ruma may have to pay with their lives for winning medals for India.

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