STOP FOOTBALL FROM KILLING ATHLETICS IN BANGALORE
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Sree Kanteerava Stadium, which is centrally located has been the hub for sportspersons especially track and field athletes for decades. Unfortunately for the last three years, national and state track and field athletes and their coaches have been facing an uphill battle to train at Kanteerava Stadium primarily meant for athletics. The athletes have been restricted access to the stadium and have been barred from training on the turf (in the centre) which is used to do a lot of drills, to improve techniques, speed, as continuous training on synthetic track increases possibilities of injury.
For the last three years, Kanteerava Stadium is being used by Bangalore Football Club (BFC), a private entity hindering the activities of athletes. Athletes of field events such as shot put, discus, javelin, hammer throw, have not been allowed to train at all. Karnataka, once an athletics powerhouse has lost its standing at the national level due to the insensitive and thoughtless decisions of the government sports official. Their only concern off late has been to generate funds rather than encourage athletes to perform better.
The football stadium located at Ashok Nagar (next to Hosmat), is also in the heart of the city and has been built specifically for football. It has an astroturf and a surrounding stadium with a FIFA academy as well. This stadium has no access to any other sportsperson other than footballers. It was BFC's home ground till they moved to Kanteerava Stadium on a temporary basis till the stadium was to be upgraded. Due to some issues at the football stadium, unfortunately, Kanteerava Stadium has now become a permanent home of BFC and athletics has been totally relegated.
The football stadium has been leased to Karnataka State Football Association, the Chinnaswamy Stadium to the Karnataka State Cricket Association, The Golf Course to the Karnataka Golf Association, the land for Badminton courts to Karnataka State Badminton Association, the Hockey Stadium to the Karnataka State Hockey Association, why can't the Kanteerava Stadium be leased to Karnataka State Athletic Association? Only this stadium is still under DYES(District Youth Empowerment and Sports) and an agreement has been signed to let BFC continue using this stadium as their home ground. Not only is the main stadium being used for football activities, the stadium is being remodelled to suit footballers
DYES gives preference to conduct football matches over track and field competitions. Kanteerava Stadium is the only one in the city centre with track and field facilities, and buzzing with athletes. This stadium was always open to sportsmen from other disciplines, i.e, Badminton, Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, and Kabadi, who come here to improve their fitness. But for the last three years, only football has been given importance and all other sportsmen are suffering. In fact, a couple of days prior to a football match, entry to Kanteerava Stadium is further restricted.
Along with other international athletes of repute such as Ashwini Nachappa, Pramila Ayappa, Kenneth Powell, Bobby George, SD Eashan, Satish Pillay as well as national coaches I have made several representations with regard to the issues faced by the track and field athletes to the director of DYES and the sports minister, but in vain.
This is an urgent appeal to the Honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka and the Sports Minister, Mr. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, to ensure that this unfortunate state of affairs is resolved with fairness allowing athletes to train in Kanteerava Stadium without hindrance, and bring back athletic glory to the state and our country.
Please sign this petition and bring back track and field glory to Karnataka.
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