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On track, on field

December 27, 2015

The cancellation of the inter IIT sports meet, scheduled to be held from 14th to 21st December at IIT Madras, owing to deteriorating weather conditions came as a huge blow to the sporting fraternity across all IITs. Despite the ruling of the board, the IITs are vying to find an alternative.

Watch Out News Agency, in a talk with Kuber Dutt Sharma, GS Sports, attempted to analyse the plans of the Sports Council following the cancellation of the meet, the performance of IIT-R contingent at the Inter IIT aquatics meet, and probe into some lesser known behind-the-scenes facts about the Sports division.

IITR’s contingent, in the Inter IIT aquatics meet at IIT Madras elicited disappointment, with only a lone silver medal to show for its efforts. The team fared better in Udghosh at IIT Kanpur, where it placed second in the overall tally.

Addressing the concern about the aquatics team’s debacle, Kuber admitted to the ignominy and regarded the graduation of the old, experienced and talented members as the primary concern. He was hopeful of rebuilding a new team which could take us to the helm. The hope also rests with other sports as the inexperienced contingent at Udghosh gave a sterling performance in spite of losing some key seniors and finished as overall runners up. The team structure will be changed to include team hierarchy to address this issue. It is to be noted that the inability of acquiring proper aquatics coaches was another major factor. Needless to say, with the current geographical location and the post not coming under the government pay scale, there are not enough incentives for coaches to head towards R-land. Even if the Sports Council starts thinking of replicating the sports structure of other major IITs, the answers again point to the weather and location of Roorkee which badly limit the practice hours of the aquatics contingent unlike other IITs like Madras and Bombay. A temperature controlled pool has been dismissed as being beyond the budget of the institution, but the Sports Council remains optimistic about broaching the issue again.

As a substitute to the InterIIT sports meet, Sangram this year, is expected to scale greater heights. Since all IITs are faced with a surplus of funds, originally intended for the InterIIT, participation is expected to increase manifold. The plans are being made after consulting the other IITs, so as to accommodate their calenders too.

The proposal is underway to modify the timings of the Sports Complex so as to ensure proper access to every sports enthusiast on campus. Regarding the possibility of training our sportsmen at Noida extension campus under professional and international coaches who would otherwise hesitate to come to Roorkee, the response was rather allusive. “The infrastructure there”, says Kuber, “is not very developed and the institute is trying its best to train its sportsmen. For instance, the athletics team was sent to Dehradun to train on synthetic tracks.”

There were also some revelations regarding the infrastructural and structural changes. A new gym is being built which will greatly improve the sporting scenario. Taekwondo has been included under the Sports Council. The wastage of sporting equipments is a sad practice, and those will now be utilised to train students of Anushruti, ABN etc. so as to equip them with better facilities. These equipments will be used to promote sports in nearby villages in association with NSS.

How these changes affect the sporting fortunes of the institute remains to be seen.