Kanteerava cries out for attention

Athletes stage protest over lack of basic facilities at the venue

Highlighting the pathetic condition of the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, the athletics fraternity staged a silent protest on Wednesday in front of the venue asking the authorities to provide better facilities at one of the top centres of sporting activities in the State.

The stadium has been witnessing non-sporting events, often interrupting the training of the athletes, while it also lacked basic facilities. With their repeated pleas going unnoticed, around 100 athletes, coaches and parents staged a sit-in protest at the portico of the stadium in the evening.

“We expressed our concerns to the officials but no action has been taken so far. So we decided to protest in this way,” pointed out senior coach V R Beedu, who has been
training his wards here for the past 30 years.

“We request the Department of Youth Services and Sports to follow the resolution passed by former Director General A J Anandan and Siddaiah IAS,” Beedu added, voicing their concern against the stadium authorities.

Adding to the woes of the athletes were the stinking toilets with most of them not having water taps. The gymnasium was in total mess. The weights were broken and had
gathered rust while the bench press hardly had any cushion on it.

“The toilets are in a mess, they don’t have proper doors and they don’t clean it also. One of the main thing for the athletes is a proper changing room. Girls who come after the school hours for training find it very difficult here,” said Beedu.

On the field, the protective net for hammer and discus throw too were in bad shape. “Our demands are simple: issue identity cards for regular athletes for entering the stadium; maintenence of the ground; follow the rules of the stadium by allowing athletes to train with out interruption from 5.00 am to 8.30 am and from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm; don’t allow cultural programmes and other non-sporting activities in the stadium; adhere to the rules of the stadium for any sporting competition from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm; reinstate the complaint and suggestion box,” said the coaches.

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