Published: 03rd October 2017
Sports teachers protest TN government's decision to make athletes run in pitiable conditions for State level sports meet
The meet is to be held as a State-wide Republic day sports meet but questions of safety and infrastructure and lack of proper tracks are among a few problem on teachers' lists
Sports teachers from the State are questioning the Directorate of School Education's order for a State level Republic Day sports meet to be held at a private college near Trichy where over the 3K participating students will train and run on tracks reduced to sludge thanks to incessant rains. The meet is from October 4 in Thottiyam, on the outskirts of Trichy.
When the district has so many synthetic courts of international standard, including the Anna Stadium, why did the government want to conduct the meet at a private college that does not posses even basic facilities, questioned Raja Suresh, member of Tamil Nadu Physical Education Teachers Physical Directors Association (TNPETPDA). He said it would be difficult for students to run in the sludge which would result not only in time delay and poor performance, but also pose the risk of injury with a slippery ground.
The private college was situated about 60 kilometers away from the heart of the district with no good roads, said teachers
Conducting the meet on such tracks would also be detrimental to the prospects of players from rural backgrounds, who were set to participate at the national meet scheduled in January, he said. He claimed that the reason for doing so could not be a lack of funds, since Rs 10 crore is annually allotted to organise a sports meet and it includes Rs 6,700 as allowance per player.
A week ago, the matches were postponed to October 4 instead of the earlier date of October 3, said teachers. "Most students have booked their tickets to reach Trichy by the end of the day. How is it possible to obtain tickets for thousands of students on such short notice," he questioned.
The private college is situated about 60 kilometers away from the heart of the district, they said, adding that neither the roads nor college is satisfactory. Teachers said that every year the sport meet would happen only during December but has been preponed to August this year, citing public examinations as the reason.
However, in condemnation of the Government and in search of a solution to the problem, thousands of sports teachers decided to protest at a private college on October 4. "It would be better only if the officials conduct track events on synthetic court," they added.
According to sources in the School Education department, the private college was chosen as it volunteered to handle food and accommodation expenses. The college would be safe for the players, the sources added.