Mullai Nagar’s nursery of talent gets a new lease of life

Welcome move: The football ground at Mullai Nagar sports a new look after the refurbishment.

Welcome move: The football ground at Mullai Nagar sports a new look after the refurbishment.  

Corporation lays fresh astro turf at a cost of ₹29.60 lakh

The players are back at North Chennai’s popular football ground in Mullai Nagar.

On Wednesday, more than a month after the ground was taken up for refurbishment, players resumed training sessions, practising their dribbling skills, and trying to perfect their passes on the newly laid artificial turf.

The love for football is not new in this part of Chennai. The ground has served as the training space for several youngsters in and around Mullai Nagar for many years.

Now, the Chennai Corporation has given a facelift to the football ground by laying new astro turf at a cost of ₹29.60 lakh, according to officials.

It was in 2014 that the Corporation developed the ground with artificial turf, floodlights and mesh for youngsters in the locality.

However, the turf showed signs of wear and tear in the last few years, posing problems to the players.

N. Umapathy, founder and chief coach, Slum Children Sports Talent and Education Development Society, said around 300 children and youngsters from areas in and around Mullai Nagar such as Sathyamurthy Nagar and Kalyanapuram have been training at the ground. Children as young as four years of age train at the ground.

Added turf

“New turf has been laid at the existing 6,000 sq. ft. field. In addition, they have covered another 1,000 sq. ft. area that had no turf earlier. This area, located within the ground, used to get waterlogged during rains. Now, with a turf laid, the advantage is that we can accommodate more children and utilise the space for dribbling and goal-keeping practice,” he said.

He added that the Corporation completed the work two days ago after which they had resumed practice sessions. In the interim, they were practising at a nearby ground at Samandhipoo Colony.

D. Akash, a Class IX student who took to formal training in football owing to his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago, said earlier the ground was uneven owing to the damaged turf. He loves the new and bright green turf.

Uma Shankar, a resident of Udaya Suryan Nagar, who started to train here 12 years ago and is now playing for a football club in Bengaluru, said, “The ground is really good now. It is far better than what it used to be. There is no risk of injuries for the players now,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 9:19:08 AM |

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