This year Republic Day celebrations in Lucknow’s La Martiniere College will not just remain confined to the flag hoisting and the parade at the East Terrace courtyard. For a change, the 200-year-old school is aiming to promote new sporting activities in a big way.
To begin with, La Martiniere is all set get a new archery range with 20 targets for both Indian bows and recurve. Secretary of Indian Archery Association and Olympian Satyadev Prasad is coming all the way from Kolkata to inaugurate the facility.
The day will also see the inauguration of a boat house and the dedication of new rowing boats.
“Cox rowing boat from Hong Kong will be dedicated to the college on R-Day. It will be inaugurated by IB Sharma of Rowing Federation Of India,” school principal Carlyle McFarland said.
The College introduced rowing as a competitive sport for its senior pupils in 2015 with plans to use the part of the River Gomti that passes through La Martiniere estates. Students began rowing with a four-seater boat called Crysal that was built in the school premises. The team of boys received training and practice at the Lucknow Rowing Club.
“The 200-year-old college will introduce the fourth combative sports judo after having introduced Taekwondo, Muay Thai and boxing. Assistance from the judo federation has made it possible. An exhibition will be presented at 1pm on the archery range,” McFarland said.
The school will also organise a horse riding display at the equestrian ground near the archery range. “Some 20 horses shall be mounted by boys of the college in a display of simple riding skills,” the principal said.
Besides, a cricket match is scheduled at the Fairy Dale cricket ground where former students will play with present generation students. The annual cricket match is eagerly awaited and contested, he said.
Contributions from former students in the UAE has facilitated the purchase of instruments for a brass band and will augment the established bagpipe band. The boys have deftly learnt to handle the instruments because of the efforts of KP Sharma, a brass band instructor who is more than happy to train the students.
La Martiniere College students are eagerly waiting for Republic Day as a number of new sporting activities will be introduced in the school.