Schools, housings societies offer best courts for basketball in Pune
School courts are now being converted into full fledged basketball courts as most of the schools have now started giving their courts to different clubs after school hours.pune Updated: Jul 31, 2017 08:59 IST
During 2002-03, the game of basketball was mainly restricted to the core parts of the city. Deccan Gymkhana, PYC, Fergusson College and top schools like St Vincent’s and St Annes’ School were doing well in promoting the sport.However, in last 10 years, several other parts of the city have also joined the bandwagon. The major reason behind this transformation is the conversion of school courts into full fledged basketball courts as most of the schools with basketball courts have now started giving their courts to different clubs after school hours. These premises soon turn into hotspots for players who are in search for a place to play the sport in the evening hours.
Kothrud area has the highest number of clubs, as most of the schools, including Paranjape Vidya Mandir, Dr Kalmadi Shamrao, Abhinav High School and Millennium school, started giving their premises to various basketball clubs. Even distant schools like Kamal Nayan Bajaj School in Akurdi have followed the same path.
Another factor that helped in boosting the sport in the city was the active participation of societies. Many residential complexes have their own basketball courts. With around 400-500 flats in each housing society, it easily fulfils the required number of players. Most of the societies have also started hiring coaches, and within few years, had developed their own teams.
Guidance is the key
Along with the number of courts and players, the number of coaches is also increasing in the city. With the initiative from district association, every year, an NBA clinic is organised in the city for physical education teachers. Last year, FIBA’s level 1 exam was conducted in the city and 18 coaches cleared the exam. Now, the association has asked for the level 2 exam, which it is likely to be conducted next year.Currently, the city has 18 coaches with a level 1 certificate, five coaches with level 2 and one with level 3.
Big number of drop-outs
Even though these factors draw a rosy picture, in reality, the number of players who drop the sport for academic career is high. Most of the players who perform exceptionally well till they reach the Under-17 category, decide to choose further education over a sports career as the latter does not offer them job security. Hardly two to three per cent of the players pursue the sport at a professional level.
“We can’t blame the kids or their parents. The government should provide a strong platform to promote sports and offer them decent jobs. Only then can we assure the kids or their parents to continue the sport. But we have a long way to go to reach such a point,” said Chaitnya Dixit, the coach and treasurer of the district basketball association.