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Kids flock to other games besides cricket

AN UNPRECEDENTED rush is being witnessed this year in the free summer sports camps organised here by the Regional Sports office (RSO). School and college students have registered themselves for receiving coaching in large numbers for various disciplines. A remarkable aspect this year is the fact that it is not only cricket that has attracted students: they are turning out in hordes for games like lawn tennis, basketball, wrestling and other less popular sports.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 14:36 IST

AN UNPRECEDENTED rush is being witnessed this year in the free summer sports camps organised here by the Regional Sports office (RSO). School and college students have registered themselves for receiving coaching in large numbers for various disciplines. A remarkable aspect this year is the fact that it is not only cricket that has attracted students: they are turning out in hordes for games like lawn tennis, basketball, wrestling and other less popular sports.

Secondly, camps this year have been organised in villages too in large number. But the question is, does the RSO concerned have enough facilities, infrastructure and manpower to successfully conduct such camps? Already, there are complaints of too many enthusiastic children and too few coaches. Hindustan Times takes a look.

EVERY YEAR, month-long summer coaching camps are organised by the Regional Sports Office across the State. These camps cover most of the popular games. This year, the camps in various disciplines began on May 1 and will conclude on May 31.

Such is the enthusiasm among the participants that they are practicing regularly their chosen games, unmindful of the temperatures crossing 43 degree Celsius mark.

The Regional Sports Office (RSO) has organised more camps in rural areas this year in comparison to urban areas. “Our objective is to bring the rural talent into the mainstream. We decided to give them opportunity to demonstrate their talent by organising more camps in rural areas of the district”, said Regional Sports Officer Vandana Saxena.

    More kids than capacity

Though it is heartening to see children flocking to camps, there are problems that need to be sorted out. For instance, the ratio of number of coaches to the participants is so less that the participants are not getting adequate individual attention. Some of the coaches have not received the necessary paraphernalia like balls etc. Registration of participants is more than the capacity

In all, coaching camps are being organised at 19 different places across the Bhopal district. Twelve of these camps are under way at different villages. According to Saxena, on an average 100 participants have joined each camp in the rural areas while 50 to 60 participants are reporting in the urban areas.

The cricket camp, that attracted maximum number of students every year, once again is witnessing the largest number of participants. The cricket camps are being organised at Old Campion Ground and Ankur Ground (No 6 Bus Stop). At Ankur Ground, 70 students have registered their names while at the Old Campion Ground the participation is over 200.

“It is good to see that students have joined the camps in large number despite the scorching summer heat when it is hard to stand under the sun”, said Ankur ground coach J P Tyagi.

However, a sizeable section of students has turned its attention to other games also. In the lawn tennis, there are more than 150 students participants in the camp. According to the department’s officials, the participation in this game is much higher than last year.

The participants too are enthusiastic about the camps. “To learn the basics, summer coaching camp is the best platform. I want to be a big cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar”, said Akash, a participant of the camp. However, he suggested that proper diet should also be provided in the camp. More students will be attracted to the camps if diet is provided, he added.

The enthusiasm in the participant is such that Atul, who is hawker by profession, never misses his classes after completing his work in the morning. “He is a brave boy, as attending the classes regularly after distributing newspapers is a great achievement”, said his coach J P Tyagi.

First Published: May 11, 2006 14:36 IST