Stop the cricket pitch renovation activity at Dadoji Stadium at the cost of Athletics

Stop the cricket pitch renovation activity at Dadoji Stadium at the cost of Athletics

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Thane city has a population of 2.9 million people yet, it has only one stadium which was built over 30 years ago. This single stadium has produced hundreds of national level  athletes and few of them have also represented India internationally as well.

The  Dadoji Kondev  stadium is the only ground in Thane where an open Athletics event is conducted on a standard 400 meter running mud track and many of school athletics events are also conducted here. And unfortunately, the only support given by the administration for athletics is a crude workaround 130-meter single lane curved synthetic track in the tight alley between the stadium seating and fence!

Most of the practise happens in the mud ground around the periphery of the cricket pitch in the centre. But today even this small privilege is being taken away.

Thane Municipality has started on a plan to redevelop this stadium exclusively for cricket, apparently at the cost of 80 Cr.  and additional new pitches are being built cutting across the 400 Mtr running track.

We fail to understand why cricket and athletics cannot coexist. Why this grand redevelopment plan involving public money cannot include creation of a synthetic running track on the periphery (Without disturbing the cricket pitches in the centre).  but instead the municipal authorities plans to cannibalise even the existing mud track to make way for more cricket pitches.

In this stadium there are literally hundreds of eager athlete kids practicing hard and training diligently to be a professional athlete and many of them are harboring a dream of winning an Olympics medal. Behind each one of these kids there is a passionate coach working as hard to help them reach that dream. Their practice sessions start at 6:30 AM every morning and 5:30 in the evening. These kids practice even without flood lights in the dark and they do not interfere with the cricket games which generally happens during day light hours.

 Athletics practice is not a entertainment for the kids, this is their dream and they are working very hard to make that dream come true. A developing country like India harboring a dream to make it big in Olympics owe it to these kids atleast the basic facility to run!

I plead with all of to support this petition and prevent this ongoing development plan that focuses only on cricket at the cost of athletics.