It is that time of the year again, when schools close for the summer break and the new sessions in colleges will take time to start. Though the scorching gaze of the sun may be firmly directed towards them, Delhiites are up and about and looking for something new to do. The sweltering summers may be harsh and unforgiving, but the heat is no match for the enthusiasm that drives residents from air-conditioned rooms to the stadia and fields across the capital.
For many parents, summer camps offer a welcome alternative to the gaming consoles and social networking sites that their children have increasingly become addicted to.“I am always on the lookout for interesting outdoor activities that my children can participate in. They have been attending summer camps at Bal Bhawan and other centers since an early age instead of spending their entire vacations in front of the television or the computer,” says Pragya Jain, a housewife and mother of two school-going kids.
Children are spoilt for choice this year when it comes to physically rejuvenating activities. The National Science Centre (NSC) has been organising an
‘Exploring Nature’ workshop for the last 14 years for students from classes 6 to 10. “We focus on acquainting children with the natural climate, the soil, the flora and fauna through both classroom sessions, and tours and walks. It lasts for about four to five days for each batch”, says Jitender Kumar Das, from the Education Cell, NSC. Wildrift Adventures, based in Neb Sarai, Delhi, offers a soccer training camp in collaboration with The Super Soccer Academy, which also includes activities like trekking, cave explorations and rock climbing at the Himalayan resort of Saat-tal. They also organise a bicycling camp for 12 to 18 year-olds in the Ramganga-Goriganga Valley. The highlights of the camp include mountain biking, white water kayaking, nature treks and river crossing.
According to the director, Amit Marks, the multitude of adventurous activities on offer helps the participants experience real wilderness in a safe and fun environment. At the Blackbelt World Summer Camp based in Vasant Kunj, children from 3 to 14 years of age are trained in martial arts like taekwondo and judo.
Rahul Sharma, an instructor at the camp says, “We conduct a month-long camp during the summer vacations. We also have martial arts instructors from Korea and North Carolina, USA, training the students.”
Apart from such camps, there is more good news in store for Delhiites. The legacy of the Commonwealth Games is finally being shared with the residents with the sports ministry throwing open the various stadiums built and renovated for the CWG to the public. Under the Come and Play Scheme, summer coaching camps are being held from May 21 to June 30 at venues like the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex, Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, K.D. Jadhav Wrestling Stadium and the Cycling Velodrome at the IG Stadium Complex.
Registration is on first-come-first-serve basis and the monthly fee starts from R75. The application forms can be downloaded from the website of the Sports Authority of India.
Besides sports and outdoor activities, Delhi offers various refreshing alternative ways of staying fit during the summers. Fitness Fusion Studio, spearheaded by Dr Namita Aggarwal, offers fitness options like pilates, power yoga, meditation, belly dance, salsa and aerobics. It is one of the rare institutes in Delhi which provides access to an infrared cubicle, which is an advanced form of a sauna, wherein the radiation heat emitted by infrared sources penetrates the skin and leads to benefits like improved metabolism, better blood circulation and active detoxification. At the aerobics and kickboxing classes being conducted at Safdarjung Enclave Extension since the last three years, the number of members always goes up during the vacations. Other options include Kalaripayattu training at Nithya Chaitanya Kalari in Mayur Vihar Phase-III and various courses and programs in yoga, reiki, aerobics, acupuncture and acupressure at Dr Navdeep Joshi’s Navyoga and Reiki Healing Sciences Centre.
Another interesting way to stay in shape and explore the city at the same time is by becoming a member of the Delhi bicycle club. The members meet at the underground parking opposite Delite Cinema near Turkman Gate at 6 am and cycle their way across the heart of Old Delhi and also to the mystic banks of river Yamuna and the India Gate area.
The summers are back with an exciting range of fitness activities. It is time to let loose the spirit of adventure and exploration.