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Poor sports infrastructure in Commonwealth medal winner's town

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 1:32pm IST | Place: Behrampur (Orissa) | Agency: PTI

Even as this south Odisha town is rejoicing local lad K Ravi Kumar's silver feat in weightlifting at Glasgow Commonwealth Games, sports infrastructure here leaves a lot to be desired.

The Berhampur Stadium has been closed for last one year, because of some repair work. Same goes for Khallikote College ground, which was severely damaged during cyclone Phailin that hit Odisha coast in October 2013.

The proposed weightlifting academy at Gopalpur and indoor stadium at Chhatrapur are hanging in balance, sport enthusiasts said.

"There is no ground to practise in the town. Despite weightlifters Kumar, Bijay Satpathy and Chandra Sekhar Sahu winning laurels for the country, no efforts have been made to hone budding talents here," said Ramesh Chandra Padhy, a weightlifting coach. "Most of them train in private clubs in the town, he added.

"The state government announced setting up of a weightlifting academy at Gopalpur after Kumar bagged gold medal in 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games. There has been no headway in the project in the last four years," said Biswanath Patra, a sports lover.

Ganjam district athletic association general secretary J Kameswar Rao admitted to the lack of sport infrastructure in the town. "We will soon call a meeting of sports lovers, eminent and former sportspersons to discuss the issue and chalk out a plan to mount pressure on the government to develop infrastructure here," he said.

District sports officer A K Patnaik said the administration has identified lands for weightlifting academy and indoor stadium at Gopalpur and Chhatrapur, respectively.

"We are in the process of acquiring the land. The government had also sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for developing KC High School and City High School stadiums. Work on them will start soon," he said.

"The repair work at Berhampur Stadium will be completed in three months," said in-charge, Berhampur stadium-cum-hostel B K Mohapatra. 




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