Capital wakes up to sports culture
THE RECENT performances by sportspersons from Bhopal at the national and international levels, and successful conduct of various major sports events here indicate that the State Capital is fast developing a sports culture besides becoming a major sports centre in the State.
Gone are the days when Bhopal was known only for hockey or cricket. Going by the performances of sportspersons in different games during the last six months, it becomes clear that the Capital is not confined to the two abovementioned sports now. This has also broken the perception that Indore is the only centre for sports talent and activities in the State.
Moreover, the splendid performances by the Bhopal sportspersons in various lesser popular sports like water sports, fencing, throwball, women’s cricket, gymnastics and others have put the State at national and international sports map.
There were days when sports activities in Bhopal were dominated by cricket and athletics events only. But the sportspersons like Amardeep Bisadiya and Himalaya Vishwakarma (fencing), Rajendra Verma and Navin Kumar Sahu (water sports), Shashwat Patel (gymnastics), Poornima Vishwakarma (judo) Riyazuddin (basketball) Mahak Shrivastava (throwball) and others of Bhopal made the City proud at various levels by their brilliant performances in games apart from cricket and athletics.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Director Sports Sanjay Chaudhary said that the policy of the department is to organise sports activities as much as possible so that talent gets the opportunity to perform. “It is good that number of City players have come up in various games like water sports and fencing.
The objective of the department is to give importance to all games”, said Chaudhary. The Water Sports Centre in Bhopal is one of the best in the country and it was lavishly praised by the sportspersons, coaches and even the government.
Apart from the selection and performances of Bhopal players at the national and international levels, the sudden rise in sports activities in the last couple of months has made the Bhopal a centre of various games.
The National Billiards and Snooker Tournament in which all big guns including Geet Sethi, Yasin Merchant, Pankaj Advani participated is the best example to justify this.
It is said the overwhelming response to snooker and billiards has compelled the Indore associations to host the national event of the same level later this year.
Besides, in the last three months, two national-evel cricket tournaments, national CBSE sport meet, national school games, national women sports meet and others have been organised.
The same will be seen in the future also. Udai Iftekhar Cricket Tournament, to be organised from March 27, will witness the presence of players like V V S Laxman and others.
Though the sportspersons have done the City proud, the Sports Department has to take care of the infrastructure including playgrounds and others that are not in good condition.