Come mid-January, the district stadium with all its new facilities, including a synthetic track, would be thrown open to the public here. The construction of a 400-metre synthetic trackis under way at the stadium and it is expected to cost Rs. 3.26 crore. Drains have been constructed around the synthetic track and the stadium. In addition, long jump, triple jump, high jump, hammer-throw, pole vault, shot put and javelin-throw sectors are also coming up.” The synthetic track would help the budding athletes in their training and help them in compete in national and international level events with much needed confidence,” said Balakrishna Hegde, President of District Athletic Association.

A volleyball court with floodlight facilities is also coming up. Besides this, another volleyball court, a kho-kho court, and a handball court, are also coming up. A throw-ball court would come up outside the eastern gate of the stadium in 20 cents of land. A sum of Rs. 10 lakh is being spent on these courts.

Sports Hostel

The new building of District Sports Hostel is being constructed close to the stadium at a cost of Rs. 1.5 crore. The hostel would be able to accommodate 50 students. At present there are 33 students including nine girls in the sports hostel, which is functioning in the district stadium complex. The new hostel would have a kitchen, a dining hall, four dormitories, an indoor sports room, a reading room and a warden’s room.

Only students interested in sports are selected for the hostel. They would undergo two-hours training in the morning and the evening. During the day, they would have to attend classes at the nearby Vivekananda School. . Two coaches were training them in athletics and volleyball. The training, hostel, food and education, are provided free of cost for these students.

“The work on synthetic track and the hostel will be completed by the end of this month. We want to have the inauguration in the second week of January,” said Assistant Director of Department of Sports and Youth Services Roshan Kumar Shetty. Rodney Stephan, joint secretary of Stadium Friends, an organisation of like-minded persons who play volleyball at the stadium daily, said that the works undertaken at the stadium were of high quality. “It would have been better if these facilities were provided earlier,” he said.

The Department plans to construct a lush green football field of 84 metres by 72 metres. “It is estimated to cost about Rs. 30 lakh and we are thinking of approaching a nationalised bank or a philanthropist for it. We also want to construct an indoor basket ball court in 80 cents of land on the northern side outside the district stadium,” Mr. Shetty said.

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