Government set to build its own tennis courts
By Shan A S - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
29th June 2012 08:30 AM
The uncertainty over the schedule of the 35th National Games has not been solved yet. Compounding to the woes, the organisers are facing a new hurdle.
The venue of the tennis events has not been finalised yet. Regarding the previously announced Trivandrum Tennis Club, the sports think-tanks are now having second thoughts.
Sources in the sports administration disclosed that they would be looking for alternative space to construct tennis courts as they feel that spending money on the facility owned by a club will not better the prospects of the game in the State.
“What you have heard is true. It was earlier decided that the facilities at the Trivandrum Tennis Club would be improved and the National Games tennis events would be held there. But it was found that the cost of construction and renovation would exceed over Rs 4.5 crore. To invest that much money in a private club is a futile exercise,” said an official at the National Games secretariat.
The decision to hold the national tennis event on the existing courts in the club was taken since numerous tennis tournaments are being organised there regularly.
The Government was to ink a legal agreement with the club to hold the event there. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was to be signed with the club, but after listening to the views expressed by those against ‘dumping money’ in a private club, it is learnt that the Government has retracted from its earlier decision.
The Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs Additional Director S Najumudden said: “In the National Games website, it is shown that Trivandrum Tennis Club will host the tennis events. The club has a total of nine courts, six clay and three synthetic. It was decided that the three courts will be roofed and the Sports Council trainees would be allowed to practise at the courts for 15 years. But, later, the proposal was shelved,” he said.
Now, the Government is looking for its own land to construct the courts. The National Games rules stipulate that a minimum three courts, a centre court and two side courts, are mandatory to hold the Games event.
The authorities are now toying with the idea of constructing courts on the Medical College ground or at the Medical College High School at Kumarapuram. The Chalai Boys High School and Chalai Girls High School are also under consideration.
S Murukan, president of Trivandrum Tennis Club, said that he was unaware of the developments regarding the venue. ‘’I am new to the post. But as far as I know, the club hasn’t signed any pact with the Government regarding the National Games venue,” he said.
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