Syed Muthahar Saqaf

This is considered first such facility of its kind in private management

TIRUCHI: Tiruchi city has got a brand new international floodlit multi-purpose stadium on an outlay of Rs. 4.5 crore.

This stadium has been constructed in two months, much to the delight and surprise of every Tiruchiitte.

This is considered first such facility of its kind under private management in the country.

Tiruchi has played host to many national and state level tournaments in various events in the past.

These tournaments were conducted successfully despite lack of proper infrastructure facilities, thanks to the patronage extended by the sports loving public of the district.

Football, basketball, volleyball, tennis are some of the favourite games enjoyed by the people of this district for long, apart from cricket.

The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu a few years ago established a swimming pool in the Anna Stadium complex.

An astro-turf hockey field and a multi-purpose indoor stadium, with the financial assistance of the Centre, are fast coming up in the stadium complex.

But, it is the new multi-purpose indoor stadium that has come up on the C.A.R.E. School of Engineering campus on the outskirts of the city that has brought much joy to the public in general and sports fraternity in particular.

The project is coming up in an area of 5,000 square meters. The stadium accounts for four basketball courts, four tennis courts and four badminton courts.

The works on this project were undertaken on a fast pace and the first of the 14 giant arch type trusses was erected only on May 26. The lovely indoor stadium will be ready by June 1, says K. N. Ramajayam, industrialist and Director of the CARE School of Engineering. The engineering fraternity is of the view that constructing the world class indoor stadium of such a magnitude within two months was indeed an astonishing and incredible feat.

The galleries will border the four sides of the stadium. The easily removable basketball boards / tennis net etc have been designed and they could be erected whenever needed.

Four basketball matches at a time could be conducted in the stadium and the seating arrangements have been made in such a way that spectators could watch the match of their choice. A new centre court could be created for special matches like semi finals and finals and the spectators could witness the same from any corner of the stadium. The same arrangements could be made for tennis or other games. The stadium could be utilised for other functions in the absence of sports events.

The Tiruchi District Basketball Association and the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association (TNBA) will celebrate the establishment of this world class sport facility, by hosting the week long 27th Youth National Basketball Championship here from May 1-8.

The basketball talent available in the youth category will have a feel of the new stadium during this tournament and this is expected to bring lot of good will to the state.

The new stadium is expected to promote the game of basketball in a big way in the central districts, observe a cross section of the people. Many games could not flourish in the country due to paucity of stadiums and other facilities. Tiruchi District Basketball Association should not stop with this. It should go for senior nationals and some international tournaments, they say.

"Our intention is to create permanent sports facilities in the city. More projects, including beautification of the Anna Stadium, are on the anvil.

Such initiatives will go a long way in the total transformation of basketball in the country. It will also have a big say in developing this game in the state.

In the next couple of years, Tamil Nadu will play a major role in the national scene and the state players will dominate the national team,” Mr. Ramajayam, who is also the president of TNBA, says with confidence.