DU's sports college fails to score

Institute lacks key facilities; space crunch, fund shortage to blame

DU's sports college fails to score

The only dedicated college for sports and physical education in Delhi University is a shrunken version of what it was meant to be.

In the barely three-acre-large campus of Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGIPESS), located in west Delhi, sporting talent faces space and resource constraints.

Earlier, this state-funded institute was to shift to a 20-acre campus in Rohini Sector 3. But even after the foundation laying ceremony of the new campus on January 11, 2007, the Delhi government decided to parcel the same land to the city’s six-year-old Ambedkar University.

The institute’s 200-metre-long athletic track with grass turf is far more basic than the proposed 400-metre-long international standard three-layered synthetic track on the now-junked new campus. Also, there are no specialised sporting facilities on the campus crunched for space – a football field, for instance, also serves as hockey and cricket ground for students.

According to the University Grants Commission norms, a college dedicated to physical education needs at least a 25-acre campus, IGIPESS Principal Devinder K Kansal said.

“For the new campus, the PWD had provided an elaborate plan. Besides separate sports grounds and courts, the campus was even set to have a hostel for students,” he added.


Lack of facilities

Young sporting talent come to this college from various parts of the country in lure of better facilities and education in physical education.

“Most of the students who get admission to the institute have played at the state or national level,” a first-year student, who changed his sports specialisation from boxing to cricket, said.

“No gloves, no boxing ring! There is only a punching bag,” he added.

The college has swimmers, but no swimming pool. There are gymnasts, judo players and other kinds of athletes, but the facilities are woefully lacking.

In the institute, even cricketers practice on a cemented pitch without nets.
“We don’t even have sporting kits, but we always win university level competitions,” another student, requesting anonymity, said.

“Our college is not meant for producing sports personalities,” Kansal said, pointing out that the institute is meant to churn out physical education teachers. He also cited lack of funds for the mediocre sporting facilties.

“For selection of sporting talent, there is a need for proper research,” he added.
Bad infrastructure has also forced some students to join sports coaching academies, where they get better equipment and training.

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