Sports venues thrown open for enthusiasts

Local sports enthusiasts had a charge-free passage to state-of-the-art sporting facilities in the Commonwealth Games Village. To celebrate Independence Day on Friday, the Delhi Development Authority opened doors of all its 15 sports complexes across the city between 6 am to 11 am.

The DDA organised a flag hosting ceremony, sporting events, tree plantation and musical chair in the CWG village to celebrate the day.

“Now there are over 1,300 members. We started offering tenure membership in April,” said secretary of the CWG Village Sports Complex IS Kharb.

The 21-acre sports complex was started on a “pay and play” basis, added Kharb.
It offers various sports like football, badminton, table tennis and billiard, besides housing world-class gymnasium, swimming pool and synthetic track.

Access to the different sporting facilities cost anything between Rs 55-750. Charges for one hour in the pool cost Rs 150. But members get a discount of one-half to two-third of the amount. 

After running into delays for about two and a half years, the complex was fully opened on March last year. “In phase-II, we plan to offer cricket, lawn tennis, basketball and jogging track,” said Kharb. 

Over 200 local sports enthusiasts from neighbouring localities participated in the events organised at the CWG village. Those who are regular at the CWG village say that youngsters are increasing getting lured into playing sports.

“We played badminton to our heart’s content,” said Ashish Kumar, a 21-year-old student whose house is a 15-minute drive from the CWG village, while adding that the charge of Rs 55 per person for 40 minutes at the badminton court – with maple wood flooring – is slightly on the higher side.

Due to higher cost, he said, the access to sporting facilities at the complex remains out of bounds for youngsters with paltry pocket money.

“The sports complexes serve twin purpose – mass participation and promoting sports talents,” said DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar, while adding that the authority has many trained coaching staff on their pay rolls.

She said most of the DDA-run sports complexes have closed its membership, as the facilities are already packed to capacity.

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