Delhi residents will soon have world-class sporting infrastructure at their disposal. Announcing the Sports Ministry's 'Come and Play' scheme, Union sports minister Ajay Maken on Friday said various stadia, refurbished for the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in October last year, will be thrown open to the public for use from May 2.
However, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, the hub of athletics, will open from May 23, while Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex will open from June 1.
In 2008, all the stadiums managed by SAI were shut down for renovation.
Under the 'Come And Play' scheme, top players as well as amateurs will benefit by making use of the existing facilities. To make use of the infrastructure, the sports enthusiasts need to shell a minimal amount ranging from Rs75 to Rs500, depending on the discipline.
To encourage women and students from government schools to pursue sporting activities, the fee structure has been reduced to one-third of the nominal charges. "Also people below the poverty line need not pay any fee," said the sports minister.
People from all age groups can come and train at the venues, but there are different timings for players below 25 years of age and those above 25.
Also, during the summer vacations, in order to encourage the student community to come and play, all venues will be open in the morning as well in the evening.
The application forms shall be available on SAI's website from Saturday.
The minister said that SAI would deploy as many as 70 coaches at its stadiums to impart training to children.
Since most schools in the city lack big playgrounds, the school principals welcomed the decision and said it would provide sports the much-need boost.
"Since so much money had been invested in them, it's time that common people had access to them. Since our school is all of 1.8 acres, we used the Talkatora and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for (organising) sports events of our school," said Ameeta Wattal, chairperson, National Progressive Schools Conference.