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When work is play

The IGI is the only college in Delhi that produces good sportspersons as well as competent instructors Vimal Chander Joshi reports

education Updated: Feb 10, 2010 09:19 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

The Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGI), housed in an old building in Vikas Puri’s residential area, has on the rolls some very talented sportspersons. The faculty also comprises former international players. However, the career paths of many students have led to academic institutes and not justthe sporting arena. Jobs as sports instructors or trainers in Delhi’s prominent schools and colleges are a popular choice.

“Even though I’ve got a Master’s from the CCS University, Meerut, I got a job as a physical education teacher in the GD Goenka School, Rohini, only because I did my BPEd from here, ,” says Javed Akhtar of the 2007 batch. He also anchors a show, Khel Ke Maidan, on All India Radio.

Former student Meenakshi Pahuja, now an assistant professor in the physical education department of Lady Sri Ram College, says, “Conventionally, bright students were not known to take up physical education as a career but now the trend is changing and IGI is able to attract the best of students for BPEd from Delhi University’s premier colleges (including St Stephen’s).” The DU-tag and state government patronage have made this institute a force to reckon with.

Nationally, it is second only to the Laxmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior.

Famous for: Being the only college in Delhi University and probably the only good one in north India focusing on physical education alone.

Programmes: BSc in physical education, health education and sports; Bachelor’s/Masters’s of physical education and PhD.

Extra-curricular activities: When extra curricular becomes curricular, there is little scope to go beyond that. The college doesn’t organise any festival or cultural events.

Infrastructure: Not satisfactory by any standards. The college has a 200-metre track where an ideal one should have been double that length. It doesn’t have a swimming pool or dedicated playgrounds for various games. Students also complain of the lack of proper washrooms. The college plans to set up a 17-acre campus in Rohini, but plans are yet to firm up.

Found on campus: “This college is considered the best in Delhi and the second best in India, after Laxmi Bai (institute of physical education) in Gwalior. I was a national level player in boxing, which is why I got interested in sports as a career. Being in Delhi, this was my first and last choice. Getting admission here is no mean task.

“There were, in 2007, more than 1,000 applicants for 70 seats. Those who get shortlisted are usually national level sportspersons,” says Pradeep Sharma, a final-year BSc student.

"The college must improve its infrastructure. We don't have proper toilets or shower cubicles - considered essential in any physical education college. After practising during summers it is uncomfortable for us to attend classes without taking a shower. To make things worse, we don't have men's changing rooms either," says a student of BPEd.

The institute was established in August, 1987 by the Delhi Government under the aegis of the University of Delhi. The same year, it started offering its first programme of BSc (physical education, health education and sports) based on the professional advice of institutions such as Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (Gwalior), Netaji Subhas Institute of Sports (Patiala), and Central Health Education Bureau (Delhi). Later the college added two new programmes — a one-year BPEd (Bachelor of physical education) and a two-year MPEd (Master of physical education).