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APAA snubs district units
Sridhar K Penna The tall claims by the policy makers notwithstanding, the Andhra Pradesh Athletics Association (APAA) has drawn an ambitious...
Sridhar K Penna The tall claims by the policy makers notwithstanding, the Andhra Pradesh Athletics Association (APAA) has drawn an ambitious calendar for the ensuing season, which, when taken at its face value, comes as a dampener to the bids by units in the districts. In a rather unfortunate development, barring the odd championship, most of the major State-level events have been allotted to Hyderabad. This makes a mockery, to the extent of sounding gibberish, of the repeated talks of promoting sport at the grassroots level and the government's constant blabber about the keenness to construct mini-stadia and develop state-of-the-art infrastructure. The ideal occasion to take sports to the interiors, as part of a 'vibrant' roadmap, is in conducting events across the nooks and corners, which would serve dual purposes-the local Associations and administrators get an opportunity to give fillip to various disciplines while the athletes get a boost to parade their skills and win laurels. Against this backdrop, Tuesday's announcement smacks of an overriding preference for the State capital, where the stadia are world class but fail to attract the best of athletes from rural areas, particularly those coming from economically backward families in the absence of sponsors or State support. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why one gets to witness more and more entries from the Sports School, which is headquartered in the outskirts of Hyderabad. A look at the tentative calendar shows that a majority of the State and district-level meets will be conducted in Hyderabad while only a miniscule have been allotted to centres like Warangal, Karimnagar and Visakhapatnam, despite the avowed 'determination' to promote allA events, including PYKKA. The only solace comes in the form of the Under-18 National Youth meet, which will be organised at Guntur from May 18 to 20. Otherwise, there is nothing of substance to even remotely give a feeling of contentment that the districts are actually being involved in the promotion of sports in the State. It would have been in the fitness of things if the governing body had allotted a major chunk of the events to the districts while the coaching and conditioning camps re held in Hyderabad. Incidentally, all the camps have been allotted to Hyderabad, which is the only good augury about the whole exercise that has been 'painstakingly' put in place. Events in Hyderabad: Inter-District meet for men and women, boys and girls (April 13 and 14); Inter-District sub-juniors meet for U-12 and 14 boys and girls (June 29 and 30); Inter-District junior meet for U-16, 18 and 20 boys and girls (July 12 to 14); State meet for seniors (Aug 11 & 12); Guntur-U-18 Youth Nationals (May 18 to 20); Visakhapatnam-Open sub-juniors meet for boys and girls: Warangal-Open junior meet for U-16, 18 and 20 boys and girls (September 13 to 15); Karimnagar-Inter-District cross-country meet for seniors and juniors (November 10).