Lack of infra, complaints galore at Dasara sports meet

Lack of infra, complaints galore at Dasara sports meet

Barefooted ball badminton players get uneven arena

While the state government is set to bring about a sports policy to encourage sportspersons, lack of infrastructure at ground-level remains unaddressed to a larger extent.

It came to fore yet again on Saturday, during the Dakshina Kannada district-level Dasara sports meet-2016-17, held at Mangala Stadium.

The ball badminton court presented a poor sight, with stones and pebbles dominating the leftover bald patch of grass. Equally pathetic was the boys’ team from the Government High School at Koralpady in Puttur taluk, playing in mostly slippers and also barefoot.
Although the opponents, from the Government First Grade College, Vamanapadavu, were aptly clad for the meet, some had come unprepared and played in barefoot again.

When the mediapersons enquired a teacher accompanying another team of ball badminton players, the teacher, sporting a smile, said, “Last year, we were forced to play at Besant Women’s College grounds,” leaving it to the scribes to understand the gravity of the situation.

A youth said, “It is the same case every year, as markings are done by participants for net ball and hand ball, besides bringing poles for the same. This year too, we are not sure about the arrangements.”

Another youth said, in a halting tone, “In the absence of adequate facilities, we had to play net ball at Aloysius High School grounds near Urwa once. Last year, due to absence of adequate teams, the winners and runners up were decided in consensus with other teams, without hitting the ground. The only solace this year is, four to five teams are participating.”

Another participant said, “As per rules, six chances should be given for every participant in long jump and triple jump. However, due to paucity of time, as the sports meet has to be wound up in a day, only three chances will be given. It has been questioned many a times, but in vain.”

Arrangements for drinking water, however, were made in a corner of the ground, for the hundreds of participant students. Outside, a group of women vendors offered ice slabs, to further quench the thirst of participants.

Field, track
However, they were happy with the arrangements made for field and track events, that included 100 metre to 1500 metre run, hurdles, relay run, shot put and discus throw.

Moreover, barring participants, coaches and organisers, the gallery was empty, that topped all the complaints, with the sportspersons left to fend for themselves, starving for encouragement from the spectators, who were nowhere to be seen.

Students from Mangaluru, Belthangady, Puttur, Sullia and Bantwal taluks in Dakshina Kannada district attended the sports meet.

Coastal Development Authority secretary Pradeep D’Souza, who holds additional charge as deputy director, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports said, “Boys playing in barefoot and footwear did not come to my notice, but it seems to be students from rural side. Moreover, it is indeed a bigger achievement than winning a prize, to attract rural students towards sports meet. In spite of many lacunae, we have been trying to ensure that sports will get its due encouragement.”

Sports policy
Ivan D’Souza, MLC and Chief Whip of the state government in the Legislative Council who, earlier, inaugurated the sports meet said, “A sports policy will help budding sports persons academically with the provision of grace marks. Like traditional courses, like commerce, arts and science, sports is also essential for students. The Dasara sports meet assumes significance as it heralds the beginning of Dasara festival.”

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