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AP athletes fail to grab spotlight at NIDJAM

AP athletes fail to grab spotlight at NIDJAM
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The threeday sports event NIDJAM National Inter District Junior Athletics meet 2018 went off peacefully in Tirupati in which host states performance...

Tirupati: The three-day sports event NIDJAM (National Inter District Junior Athletics meet 2018) went off peacefully in Tirupati in which host state’s performance in various sports events has disappointed everyone. While, AP settled with only three medals – two Gold and one Bronze, Chittoor district which hosted the event failed to open the account. The government, in recent times was boasting so much about the priority it has been giving to sports and was talking about so many initiatives. Still the performance was so much disappointing.

However, the Physical Education Teachers (PETs) of various government schools were unanimous in expressing their opinion that selection process was not correct and it was delayed. Referring to Chittoor district performance these PETs observed that there was no information about the selections to the whole district. “There were promising athletes who were having good track record in the district. Nindra, Nagari, Kuppam and some other places were having good athletes who even won medals in Nationals.

They were all excelling in CM’s cup organised by School games Federation. But, they don’t have information about selections for NIDJAM”, revealed a PET. Similar situation may prevail in other districts too. It’s important to have a good selection process to bring out the best performers and once selection process is completed much in advance, they should have at least one month camp for practice which is crucial. These both aspects were missing in the case of NIDJAM, he observed.

Another PET said that poor sports infrastructure in the district was another reason. Athletes need good track for their practice and in several places there were no playgrounds. But, now play fields were coming in villages which have 200 meter track also. The government, no doubt, has been taking certain initiatives. Recently the government has tied up with TENVIC sports academy which will take care of the training aspect in the state. The academy sends its coaches who will train oaches and selected athletes in the State. Under Project Gandeeva, intense selection process was completed and interested and talents students were identified to undergo training. There was further process in this at Amaravati. This is expected to yield good results.

Another aspect of concern was that there was no budget for sports and games in schools. Sports persons need good kits which many parents cannot afford. At several places PETs have been spending their own money to provide kits to promising players and motivating them. The travel charges for players also being provided by PETs on many occasions and many good athletes were not getting nutritious food due to poor conditions of their parents. “Sometimes, people in villages give a helping hand, but there should be a proper budget”, opined a PET.

One senior most teacher has said that, AP was having many corporate schools than other states and it was the main reason for the state to lag behind in any tournament. There was no place for sports in Corporate schools and they neither have play grounds, he remarked. With advance planning, the selection process would have been better without any communication gap which would have made the district athletes to show some decent performance. Every district should have at least one dedicated sports school through which the fortunes may witness a positive change, he opined.

However, the DEO Dr K Panduranga Swamy expressed hope that the situation will change. Now, sports has been included in the curriculum and in the SSC Marks memo the grading for curricular and extra- curricular activities was also being given. This may change the scenario in the coming days.

- V Pradeep Kumar

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