Sunday, June 24, 2007

Parachuting faces usual funding problems

Friday, June 08, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Manado, North Sulawesi

The development of aerosport is facing a similar fate to other sports in the country, with cliche problems of insufficient funding and equipment, an official says.

"Parachuters can only improve their skills by having frequent training sessions. We have been left behind by many countries because we lack the facilities and training due a lack of funds," Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Herman Prayitno said Thursday.

He was in Manado to officially close the second International Open Parachuting Championship Indonesia.

Prayitno, who is also general chairman of the executive board of the Indonesian Aerosport Federation, said the underdevelopment of parachuting in the country is partly attributed to dependency on Air Force facilities, especially the aircraft.

"Air Force carriers have to serve the nation's needs first... if we have some free flight hours we can allocate them for the development of aerosport, including parachuting," he said.

These factors combined have widened the gap between Indonesia and other dominating countries in the sport.

Prayitno said Indonesia's parachuters are currently only able to perform a 10-diver formation in 35 minutes -- a far cry from world champions from the U.S., who can perform a 35-diver formation in the same time frame. Russia managed to pull off a 44-diver formation last year.

Around 70 parachuters from Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Singapore competed at this year's event, which was opened by State Minister of Youth and Sport Affairs Adhyaksa Dault last week.

Despite the shortcomings, Prayitno said aerosport in Indonesia also faced promotional challenges.

"Parachuting has become an object of media promotion for some companies but there is still a shortage sponsors for the sport."

He said in order to promote the development of the sport, the government needed to support more parachuting events. (02)

________________________________________________________________ Category Winner Prize money ________________________________________________________(US$)________ Team Jumps 1st Team Australia 5,000

2nd Team Riau Air Force 3,000

3rd Team Garuda Jakarta 2,000 Women Accuracy Jumps 1st Endang Dwi (North Sulawesi) 3,000

(single) 2nd Ratna Sari (North Sulawesi) 2,000

3rd Eka Sari (East Kalimantan) 1,000 Men Accuracy Jumps 1st Kalengkongan (C. Java Air Force) 3,000

(single) 2nd Petrus (C. Java Air Force) 2,000

2rd M. Khalik (Army's Special Forces) 1,000 Women Accuracy Jumps 1st Team North Sulawesi 5,000

(group) 2nd Team South Sumatra 3,000

3rd Team East Kalimantan 2,000 Men Accuracy Jump 1st Team of Army's Air Force 5,000

(group) 2nd Team Yogyakarta 3,000

3rd Navy's Team 1,000

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