Squash court remains unused

The squash court at DRMC Indoor Stadium in Vijayawada built at an estimated cost of Rs. 10 lakhs wears a desolate look. – .

The squash court at DRMC Indoor Stadium in Vijayawada built at an estimated cost of Rs. 10 lakhs wears a desolate look. – .  

Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: When squash freak Arvind Kumar as Commissioner of the Vijayawada Municipal Commissioner (VMC) gave green signal for the construction of a squash court in the beginning of 1999, many sports buffs thought that the city would nurture Bhuvaneshwaris, Jansher Khans and Jehangir Khans in the days to follow.

Huge expenditure

But that was not to be. The VMC went ahead with the construction of the court, measuring about 25 ft in width and 60 ft in length, adjacent to the DRRMC indoor stadium, and the court was inaugurated amidst fanfare on November 11, 1999. The corporation spent about Rs. 10 lakhs for the construction, laying the wooden flooring as per the specifications of the Squash Federation of India.

For the first few months, the court was a beehive of activity, with players armed with brand new racquets banging the ball against the wall. In the forefront was Mr. Arvind Kumar himself, who religiously practised at the facility almost every day. Cut to 2007. The scene looks gloomy and disheartening. What greets one is a huge lock that dangles from the door of the squash court, with youngsters not showing any interest in pursuing the game, considered a draining and energy-sapping one. Many sports associations blame the VMC for executing a project that lacks popularity among public in the city. “It is fine the squash court has been constructed, but who is using it? A lot of public money has been wasted with no body using the infrastructure. There are many active associations that are suffering from want of funds to send their teams to tournaments and to conduct coaching camps,” says Cherukuri Satyanarayana of the Krishna District Archery Association.

‘Monumental waste’

The non-existence of an association for squash in Vijayawada is cited as one of the reasons for the poor patronage of the sport. “Squash court is a monumental waste. It was built only for the sake of Mr. Arvind Kumar. At least now, the corporation should re-modify the hall for the benefit of other sports and games,” argues K.P. Rao, secretary of the All India Beach Kabaddi Federation.

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