Best foot forward

Best foot forward

Best foot forward

While football became one of the most liked and played sports in the country in recent years, playgrounds and open spaces simultaneously diminished only to be taken over by tall corporate buildings and wide housing societies. ‘Galli’ cricket and ‘galli’ football became the norm and the only option for young and old fans alike.

Breaking this barrier, football grounds for ‘hire by the hour’ started doing the rounds in the city. “I grew up playing football on the streets and after a while, they just weren’t enough. So we started looking for grounds where we could play without being disturbed. We found out about these turfs through friends and I think it’s a great idea because you get the feel of playing on a proper field,” says Abhishek Chowdhuri, a student of CMS Jain University.

“Also, football is a team sport, so when we go as a big group, each one of us pays an affordable price, making it easy on the pocket. My friends and I go regularly because it’s fun,” he adds.

The founding of Bengaluru FC also motivated a large number of youngsters to revive their love for the game. Following the club keenly and keeping their spirit alive, many young boys and men started playing the game. Even corporates decided to add this activity to their employee welfare plans, just to emphasise on sports and team spirit.

Five-a-side football turfs are more commonly used by the youngsters compared to eleven-a-side turfs. That’s because it is less tiring and also requires a lesser number of players. These football turfs are on a rise within the city, making it more accessible to adolescents who may not be able to travel far out of the city. Jehan K E, a passionate footballer, says, “One thing they can do is to cover the grounds from above so you can even play on days when it’s very hot.”

Keeping in mind the prospective response they would get in such a prime location, Rakshit Mohan and his partners decided to open ‘Dribble Arena’, a multi-sport facility in Richmond Town. It is one among the many similar sports centres that let you book your field for a game with your buddies. “We noticed that the number of schools and youngsters around that area is quite high. We knew the land owner so we quickly put our plan into action. Several groups of young energetic boys clock in all through the week,” says Rakshit.

Mario Das, a hardcore football fan, says, “I played at XLR8 and Decathlon once with my friends. It was a really good workout and very convenient if you don’t have the space or time to play in a big ground.”
Seems like you can keep football season going all year with the many turf options that Bengaluru has to offer.

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