Vijayawada

Vijayawada: No place to play

Dearth of sports facilities pours cold water on hopes of budding sportspersons

For a city that has produced many national and international sportspersons of repute, the lack of adequate sports infrastructure has turned a stumbling block for aspiring sportspersons.

The Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Stadium built in 1964 was the biggest stadium in the united State of Andhra Pradesh and was the venue for many national and international events. History was created in 1987 when national athletic selections were conducted in this stadium.

Ace sprinter P.T. Usha rediscovered her form and was selected during this meet before bagging gold in Asian Games held in New Delhi. Sreeram Singh, who had participated in finals of 800 metres in 1976 Montreal Olympics, came with his team of athletes to this event. In a way, the NR Stadium, as it is called, has been a happy hunting ground for many sportspersons.

Losing sheen

The stadium is under the control of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP). Over the years, the stadium began to lose its sheen. The concrete staircase with a capacity of over 25,000 is all but a piece of crumbling stone. The track, that has witnessed many record winning sprints, wears a dusty look. Except for shuttle badminton, tennis and gymnastics, the stadium has little to offer and is being used by walkers.

“It is shocking that the stadium has failed to see any development during successive governments. It produced many international and national sportsmen in different games and athletic events. Aka Subba Rao, Sreenivasa Murthy, C.V. Koteswara Rao and M. Satyam Babu and Darapaneni Venkateswara Rao are some of the basketball players, G. Seshaiah in athletics, Buttchi Ramayya and Arekipudi Ramana Rao in Volleyball are some of the stalwarts in sports,’’ says former associate professor of Economics and a national medallist in pole vault L.S.N. Prasad.

Tennis

Name it and you have leading sportspersons. Thomas David, a British civil servant, introduced tennis in 1910 and there was great participation in this game from the lawyers’ community. The NSP Buildings where offices of Superintendent Engineer of Irrigation are located used to have tennis courts in the past. There was competition among the local lawyers and they started North Club exclusively for playing tennis. M. Humana Rao, A. Seetapati Rao, V. Subramanyam, and Desi Raju Hanumantaha Rae are some of the great players of tennis of yesteryears and at BR Stadium.

In the two town, NTR Municipal Stadium is located at Brindavan Gardens. The mini and multi purpose stadium has a 400-metre athletics track, a flood lit basketball court, a skating rink and an indoor shuttle badminton court besides gyms for men and women. A synthetic tennis court is located adjacent to the stadium. But in the absence of a regular executive committee, the stadium is too beginning to lose its sheen.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:09:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/no-place-to-play/article29576555.ece

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