State capital earning its sporting stripes

Kerala's contribution to Indian sports is unmatched. From P.T. Usha to Preeja Sreedharan, sportspersons from Kerala have done the nation proud at the international level. Yet, Kerala boasts only the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi when it comes to sports arenas of international standards.

With the 35th National Games slated for December 2013 in the State, Thiruvananthapuram will get a stadium, in fact a “mini-township” for sports, which is expected bridge that infrastructure gap to a large extent. The international stadium and sporting facility is coming up at Karyavattom, near the University of Kerala campus and a few kilometres from Technopark. It will be the main Games venue.

The Rs. 161-crore complex, coming up on about 15 hectares of land, is said to be one of the biggest investment and infrastructure development initiatives in the field of sports in India. The complex will include facilities to host, and train in, multidisciplinary sports events. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy recently inaugurated its construction.

“This is going to be a truly international sports complex with state-of-the-art facilities. This project is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country in many ways, and it is going to be a coveted asset for the sports sector in the country,” Amit Mallick, Chief Executive Officer of the National Games Secretariat, says. At the heart of the project will be a spectacular sporting arena, an international standard stadium with a seating capacity of 50,000. The “seating bowl” of the stadium is designed to have a variety of seating types configured around the circular ground. Specially designed seats and ramps for people with disabilities will be a feature.

External video-boards, public telephones, ATMs, public toilet facilities, merchandising outlets, food and beverage outlets, space for hawking and vending carts, a system for effective crowd control and emergency exits are among the features included in the design.

Player facilities in the stadium will include changing rooms and lockers for athletes, football and cricket players and umpires, a first-aid room, a drug testing room, a players' lounge and family room and Hall of Fame, a space to display trophies and memorabilia.

The media facilities will include a press box, an interview room, interview areas at the pitch level, a television pre- and post-production studio, a radio broadcasting booth, camera platforms and a commentary box.

The stadium elevation has been designed to emphasise simplicity and slenderness of edges. Half the seats will have roof cover, which, though economical and lightweight, has been designed to reflect modern design aspirations. The stadium roof will house the lighting and emergency lighting services, public address systems and dish antennas and other broadcast equipment.

The complex will include an indoor sports complex with facilities for basketball, badminton, volleyball, handball, table tennis and other indoor events.

An Olympics-size swimming pool and allied facilities, a gymnasium and spa and two tennis courts will complement the facilities.


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