Indore (Madhya Pradesh): A healthy body is the home of a healthy mind. At a growing age, it comes with a lot of physical activities and games and sports played out in open spaces and playgrounds. But these are perishing fast!
Indore, the land of Nayudu and Mushtaq Ali, now lacks a public sports complex which is a major concern for city athletes. The deteriorating conditions of playgrounds and a lack of open spaces in the city are posing an obstacle for young talent of the city to pursuing their passion, especially for those who come from middle-class families.
For instance, Nehru Stadium, owned by IMC, is proving insufficient for cricket activities as there are no proper cricket amenities, such as a pitch or nets. However, parents are still sending their children to the ground as private clubs prove to be expensive.
And the existing private playgrounds, which have proper facilities, have been used as commercial ventures which discourage players from using them as these private clubs are too costly for middle-class sportsmen.
This is not the only hurdle which the players come across. Another is frequent interruptions in training due to events organised by the authorities which adversely affect the physique of the athletes. Dussehra Maidan is engaged more in conducting festive do-s rather than sports events. The basketball complex is more into organising sales and the Nehru Stadium, too, is actively engaged in organising political events.
To better know the condition of the stadium, Free Press had a word with cricket coaches of the Lucky Cricket Academy. Mahesh Purohit says, “Even though this is the stadium where Sachin Tendulkar created history by becoming the first player to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, it currently lacks even the basic cricket amenities, such as a cricket pitch and even nets, forcing kids to play grounded shots to avoid risk of injuries to others.”
Amit Joshi says, “However, we ignored all these hurdles and continued to provide training by managing somehow. The next obstacle is frequent events hosted in the stadium that stop the camp several times, adversely affecting the kids’ game.”
Despite numerous hindrances that the children come across, including deteriorating conditions of playgrounds, lack of facilities, frequent interruptions between training and many more, they are not giving up and continue to follow their dreams. As one kid participating in the camp, Yuvraj Khare, 11, says, the ground conditions do not affect him at all. Another, Burhanuddin, 9, says he loves to play cricket and wants to represent India one day.
The coaches also mention that they are forced to hold the camp between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm. Since the football camp starts at 5.30 pm, they are left with no option but to organise camps in the afternoon which puts children at risk of heatstroke due to the heat wave
According to the trainers of the Lucky Cricket Academy, from next month, the camps held at the Nehru Stadium will be interrupted because of the forthcoming elections in the city
(Contributed by Shivani Batham)