A stadium that is truly ‘common wealth’ (Year after CWG)

October 1st, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Only Thyagaraj Stadium can proudly claim that it has organised seven national and two international events in the one year after the Commonwealth Games, besides providing free access to school students to train.

The stadium located in south Delhi was opened to the public in January, within three months of the successful conclusion of the Oct 3-15 Games, and it has also staged more than 10 state-level tournaments mainly in football, athletics and badminton.

The middle Asian qualifiers for the Asian Basketball Championship and the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships were the two big international tournaments organised at Thyagaraj in July.

The facility, built at an approximate cost of Rs.300 crore and spread over 16.5 acres, has a football ground rounded by an athletic track, five tennis courts and a state-of-the-art gymnasium. Table tennis, netball, handball, carrom and chess are the other indoor sports played in a stadium turned into a complex with schoolchildren, corporate professionals and people from the capital’s diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri frequenting it.

Venue administrator Sita Ram Sawoo says the stadium is the most sought after and a host of events are lined up for the next three months.

“We will be hosting the All-India Kendriya Vidyalya (KV) meet next month (October 8-12), the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) National Games will be held in November (11-15) and netball, handball and lawn tennis event of the All-India School Nationals will take place here in December,” Sawoo, an assistant director in the education department of the Delhi government, told IANS.

A regular at India’s first green stadium is a monthly football tournament between diplomatic missions.

Sawoo says the biggest benefit of the this CWG infrastructure has been reaped by the people living in the south of the city.

“There are fewer open spaces in south Delhi, but the Thayagraj Stadium has given the people of the neighbourhood the opportunity to use a world-class facility. Siri Fort Sports Complex is the other one.”

Sawoo says a pay-and-play scheme is in the pipeline and the forms for the membership will be out soon.

“Once the government issues the forms, then everyone will be able to use the facilities on offer. This will also help in self-sustaining the huge complex.”

The venue in-charge points out the only way to maintain the stadium is by its optimal use.

“It is easier to build these humongous facilities but tough to maintain when there is no sporting activity. We need to keep having tournaments.

“It is not only the big indoor stadium, there is a whole lot of open area that you have to take care of,” he says.

The government has fixed rates for facilities available inside the stadium.

The hiring charges for the indoor multi-purpose hall is Rs.20,000 for national sports federations, Rs.10,000 for government agencies and Rs.50,000 for corporates and, that too, only for organising sports meets. A flat Rs.30,000 will be charged for air-conditioning.

“I took charge of this place in January and since then various national and international events have been held here. We have different rates for the multi-purpose hall. We charge corporates more than what we do from government organisations,” says Sawoo.

Dhanraj Choudhary, secretary general in the Table Tennis Federation of India, explains why Thyagaraj has been a preferred venue for big tournaments.

“We decided to host the Asian Juniors at Thyagaraj although CWG table tennis was held at the Yamuna Sports Complex. It is because the charges are reasonable, the place is clean and the stadium is easily accessible,” Choudhary told IANS.

(Bharat Sharma can be contacted at bharat.s@ians.in)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |