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Finally, messes to reopen at sports stadiums in Ludhiana

Were shut down last year amid the lockdown; these messes at sports stadiums and academies in Ludhiana are the main source of proper diet for players training here.
Messes will reopen at sports stadiums and academies in Ludhiana which were closed since the Covid-induced lockdown was imposed in March last year. With the closure of these messes, many players were struggling to fulfil their basic dietary needs. (Shutterstock/ Representational image)
Published on Oct 18, 2021 01:17 AM IST
ByNikhil Sharma, Ludhiana

With sports activities being resumed in the state, the local district sports officer (DSO) has finally ordered to reopen messes at sports stadiums and academies in Ludhiana which were closed since the Covid-induced lockdown was imposed in March last year.

The move is a major relief for players below the poverty line. With the closure of these messes, these players were largely struggling to fulfil their basic dietary requirements.

Ravinder Singh, district sports officer, Ludhiana, said only those players who were also getting an education along with their sports would get the diet funded by the state government

He had sought a list of such players from sports centres and local academies who were eligible to get money for their diet each day.

There are two categories of players -- day scholars and residential players.

Day scholars, who return home after playing their sport, will get 100 each day for the diet. However, residential players, who avail hostel facilities, will get 200 for their diet per day.


“It is essential for the players to study as well. They need to strike a perfect balance between sports and education as that will groom them well and help them to lead a successful life. According to the government’s policy, only those players who are in schools or pursuing higher education are eligible to get funds for the diet from the government. We have asked for the lists of such players and, accordingly, will seek funds for them from the director, sports, Punjab,” Singh said.

He added that messes were likely to reopen this week.

Meanwhile, players are excited to get funds for their basic diet again.

Rohit Kumar, 16, son of a labourer from Kotkapura in Faridkot, who is also a national NBA player in the junior category and trains at the District Basketball Academy here, said, “It got really difficult for my father to manage the budget for my sports and education. I couldn’t get a non-vegetarian diet which is really essential for the overall development of a player. It’s a big relief for many players like me who were waiting to get these funds again. Now I will at least have eggs and non-vegetarian food daily which will help me to match the international standards”.

He added that so far, his coaches from the academy were helping him to get the basic diet at least.

Sports centres in the state, which had been shut down to contain the pandemic, were allowed to reopen from October 11.

With this, hostels of sports centres in the district will also open for the players.

Another senior official said a few parents were still hesitant in sending their child back to the hostels of these sports centres fearing Covid.

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