‘Learning centres need improvement’
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Around 20 sports learning centres across government and private schools in the city are training nearly a thousand children presently. Being facilitated by the sports department, however, specific improvements would boost their utility, say officials.
District Sports Officer, K S Bharti, said that these sports centres are in want of upgradation in terms of infrastructure and the attitude of school authorities, amongst other things, for the initiative to be completely successful. Revising timings of coaching and having independent judges for inter-school tournaments, are some of his other suggestions.
The sports department has allocated around 50 coaches in 22 sports deputed across 21 schools who take sessions for two hours in the morning and evening. Bharti feels that the coaching imparted to students in schools is mostly competition oriented and the teams are coached for half a month in advance of an inter-school tournament.
"For meritorious players to come forward, it is important to organize a fair game. For this, the selection committee and judging panel must consist of independent members of the concerned sports federation or association and not people from the organizing schools," he says.
Bharti suggests revising the session timings of the coaching of the players as the morning coaching session, from 7 to 8 am, are rendered ineffective with the students having a long schedule of classes planned ahead of them and either become too tired or do not turn up at the session.
"The morning sessions are, at most, a motivational exercise for the interested students to take the full-fledged session in the evening," he says, because the children tend to not turn up that early in the morning and are uncomfortable playing in their school uniforms in which they have to spend the rest of the day.
He says that the government schools have to develop their sports infrastructure to match those of the private schools, but firstly there is a need for a change in attitude of the school authorities. "Schools may have courts and the sports equipment with them but maintenance is equally important or it just constitutes disrespect to the sport. I have seen schools having courts in place, but vehicles being parked over them, leaving no place for the children to utilize it," he says.
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