Mangaluru, Sep 11, 2016: It has came to fore on Sept 10, Saturday, during the Dakshina Kannada district-level Dasara sports meet-2016-17, held at Mangala Stadium that poor attention is given to essentials in the sports arena. The state government is speaks of a sports policy to encourage sports persons, yet it is seen that lack of infrastructure at ground-level remains poor to a larger extent and needs urgent action.
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 well turned out for the meet, some had come unprepared and played in barefoot.
When the mediapersons enquired a teacher accompanying another team of ball badminton players, the teacher, sporting a smile, said, "Last, we were forced to play at Besant Women’s College grounds," leaving it to the scribes to understand the gravity of the situation.
A participant said, "It is the same problem every year, as markings are done by participants for net ball and hand ball, besides bringing poles for the same. This year too, arrangements are poor."
Another person said very thoughtfully, "Due to lack of facilities once we played net ball at Aloysius High School, Urwa, grounds. Last year, due to absence of adequate teams, the winners and runners up were decided in consensus with other teams, without any playing. The only improvement this year is, four to five teams are participating."
Another participant said, "As per norms, six rounds should be given for every participant in long jump and triple jump. However, due to paucity of time, as the sports meet is of only one 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: yet, 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. (Many people expressed that they got to read the announcement in the News yesterday only after the meet)
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."