CHENNAI: Led by the State Sports Secretary, Christodas Gandhi, along with officials of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, including the Member-Secretary, M. Rajendran, an inter-active session was arranged with newspersons here on Tuesday to find ways to project sports development activities in the State widely in the print and visual media.

Gandhi said that the State Government had been investing much for improving sports infrastructure and now most districts had full-fledged sport facility like stadium and indoor halls.

“We are now concentrating on taluk and block-levels,” he said, underlying the efforts to strengthen sports activities at the grassroots-level. He also touched upon the tie up with the private section in various investments in infrastructure.

SDAT officials gave the details of the level of activities under various sports promotion schemes of the authority including the academy of excellence, sports hostels, world beaters programme among others.

The various levels of competitions were also explained as also a few exposure programmes for students to compete in tournaments abroad.

Much of these needed to be played up in the media so that sponsors and corporates will come forward to be part of the development programme.

He sought views on newspapers sponsoring SDAT tournaments and the visual media organising special sports programmes on a regular basis. “For all round development in the sports arena the media should play a bigger role,” Gandhi said.

Rajendran said it would be SDAT’s endeavour to provide as much information as it could and also upload into its website on the various activities of the Authority.

Re-laying work at Nehru Stadium

Work on re-laying of the synthetic track at the Nehru stadium has resumed with the Hong Kong based contractor (chief of CNA Associates) agreeing to the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu’s demands to adhere to the tender agreement in toto. The work is expected to be completed by September.

The Rs 2.5 crore project involved total replacement of the existing track, which had either worn out or lost uniformity at certain places.

But the work was brought to a halt about 10 days ago by the SDAT Member Secretary, M. Rajendran, after he found out that things were proceeding at variance with what was agreed upon.

Instead of ‘removing’ the outer surface only small segments of the track at various places were being removed.

Mr. Rajendran subsequently called for a meeting with the contractor along with a technical expert from the TNAA.

At the meeting it was revealed that what was being done was a simplified way of re-doing the track, that of first repairing the damaged areas and then subsequently topping it with a 2mm thick synthetic layer.

Such a ‘repair work’ would have exposed the track to the risk of shorter life span than when it is totally replaced.

The contractor, the Member-Secretary said, preferred this technique because he pointed out that it was difficult to dispose of the material from the earlier track, something the SDAT too had not visualised at the time of taking up the plan. However, Mr. Rajendran said, “we still hope to utilise the old track material to smoothen out surface areas near the skating rinks in the stadium and elsewhere.”

Nonetheless, the Member-Secretary said it had been made clear that “the work involved is total replacement.”

In last few days, since the meeting, the digging had begun in full pace.

MCC ‘A’ triumphs

MCC ‘A’ defeated Egmore Tennis Club 2-1 in the Sanmar TNTA veterans’ tennis league final at the MCC on Tuesday.

The results: Final: MCC ‘A’ bt Egmore Tennis Club 2-1 (C. Jasper & Mukund Subramaniam bt Narayan Bhatt & Karthik Kailash 6-1, 6-4; Vivek Reddy & Hiten Joshi bt Muthu Kumaraswamy & Stanley Martin 6-4, 6-0; R.S. Rajshekar & Ramji lost to Jayakumar & Venkat 1-6 conceded).

Chandra’s TT camp

The Chandra Table Tennis Coaching Centre will host a summer camp from May 1 to 20. The latest training methods, like the ones followed in Japan and Sweden, and the use of robots will be the highlights at the camp which will have NIS coach N. Ravichandran assisting Chandrasekhar. “Fitness will be a key area of concentration,” he said.

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