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Athletes' struggle continues

Bangalore, Nov 24, 2012, DHNS : 22:28 IST
IN A MESS: Athletes train as workers prepare the stage at the Sree Kanteerava stadium    for a corporate event to be held on Sunday. DH PHOTO
It was a frustrating Saturday for the young athletes and their coaches at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with their training constantly interrupted by the movement of labourers who were preparing the stage for a sports and cultural programme of a corporate entity to be held on Sunday.

Around 100 sportspersons who train at the venue were upset as their pleas in the past have gone unnoticed. “Is this event important or is the sports that is important?” lamented a prominent coach while pointing towards the workers walking on the track.

“In the last two weeks itself there were two programmes that disturbed our training. They say it is for the revenue. Will you see this at the Chinnaswamy stadium, the football stadium or at the hockey stadium. We are fed up with this,” he added.

There were cables lying dangerously across the track with every possibility that an athlete could trip and fall down causing injuries. “The stadium has been given to non-sporting events which has created a headache for the athletes,” said another coach, who has been training his wards here for the past 12 years.

Joint Director of the Department of Youth Services and Sports, J M Appachu said: “I didn’t get any complaint until now. But I have asked the security at the stadium to be alert and don’t allow people to move around the track. If the problem is still there I will look into it.”

In February this year, rooms at the stadium were allotted for participants at a yoga competition, disturbing the athletes’ schedule. The authorities promised adequate measures for smooth conduct of training during that time too but Saturday’s problems showed nothing has changed since then.

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