The Scorecard : An Appraisal of Sports Facilites At NIT-R
It obviously goes beyond words to claim that NIT-R has one of the best state-of-the-art sports facilities that are only suitably complemented by the sprawling lush green campus with huge open fields, stadium, and sports complex to promote all kinds of sporting disciplines. The vast expanse of open land that nests the campus and the huge student population do augment the fact that sports are not just a leisure but an inherent culture at NIT-R.
However, the last academic year has seen quite a paucity in remarkable developments, especially where the long promised Indoor Stadium is concerned, and the Dilip Tirkey Stadium (DTS), PT Usha Sports Complex and Sachin Tendulkar Sports Complex (STSC) continues to be the only pivotal playing arenas of our institute.
The Ground Zero
Monsoon has always been a prominent evil to the grounds and paved surfaces and the months of July and August this year were no different. With paints worn out, allowing mud and grass taking their place, both basketball and tennis courts bore a ragged look and the long growing grass was a major problem when it came to DTS and STSC when Team MM tried to gauge the conditions of our sporting arenas. The nets have been reattached in the Volleyball court although the raw muddy surface always made bicycle prints and footprints a big nuisance. The bigger problem with the basketball court is the malfunctioning floodlights which make practising difficult after sunset. However, the Student Activity and Sports(SAS) officer Dr TR Patnaik assured us that these problems would be looked into and maintenance work will begin soon. The swimming pool of the institute which had a problem of sand accumulation would be fitted with new motors and filters. Dr NK Vissa, Vice President of the Games and Sports Society told Team MM that quotations are already being called for this purpose and are being taken on a priority basis. Also, new equipment will be purchased and provisioned accordingly as per the requests of the respective captains. The coach will also be provided on the same condition, as it becomes expensive to hire a coach on a regular basis unless all players turn up and practice.
Dr.Vissa also promised to look into the problem of drinking water near the field during the time of the next committee discussion. Dr T.R Patnaik also informed us that a proposal has been sent to the Director regarding the procurement of equipment for the temperature regulation of the swimming pool as in winter the water gets too cold for practice and the practise sessions of the Inter NIT Sports competition is hampered.
Elucidating: One At A Time
Basketball is a popular game among the NIT-R populace. The captain, Aditya Parasar, spoke in lengths about people’s participation and interest towards the game. Basketball has been provided two courts in the P.T. Usha Sports Complex and both of them are used by the players round the year. Coming to the shortcomings, proper maintenance of the courts is one of the major issues. Apart from this, the issue of improper lights is also something that the authorities need to take care of, says Aditya Parasar. Regarding funding, the captain feels that they are being provided less than what they should get. The captain, however, said that during his tenure as captain, he would ensure that the players practice regularly and will try to win competitions like Inter-NIT and Spardha IIT-BHU.
In a meeting with Dr. T.R. Patnaik, Dr. P.K. Rout (SAS Officers) and Prof. R.C. Pradhan (Vice-president, Games and Sports Society), Team MM interrogated the authorities regarding the problems faced by the team,
The problem of floodlights at the Basketball court when taken up to the concerned authorities they assured Team MM that it will be resolved very soon. They informed us that the matter has been forwarded to the Estate Office(EO) but the head at estate office seemed to be unsure about the current status of the issue.
The shuttle and racquet game fits itself beautifully in the indoor stadium, right beside G.D.B. Hall of Residence. The players are being provided with a synthetic court but there is no regular staff to maintain the court and they face a lot of problems due to the shortage of space as there is only one indoor badminton court whereas the number of people playing the sport at one particular time is far too high. Insufficient amount of equipment and space are some of the issues that the authorities cannot neglect. Regarding future plans, the captain, Nihar Ranjan Behera, quoted:
The players enthusiastic and dedicated towards the game. Personally, I believe in practicing more rather than conducting matches. The amount of practice will reflect our performance. We also plan to include morning jogging and exercises in our schedule to build up stamina.
Quoting the concerned authorities:
For practice purposes, we provide nylon shuttles instead of feather shuttles to cut down the expenses to nearly 50% and provide feather shuttles only when a tournament is round the corner. It is not feasible to provide feather shuttles for practice purposes. The maintenance of badminton courts is the liability of the hall in which it is located and comes under the jurisidiction of the warden of the hall.
Chess is regarded as one of the games which require patience and presence of mind both synchronised together and the institute chess team has proved its worth time and again. The players are regularly provided chess boards and chess clocks to practice with. The games with the least number of problems, the chess team has participated in several tournaments like Inter NIT competition and at Spardha. The only issue that the Chess team faces is that of a separate room allotment to practise as the game of chess needs immense concentration to play with silence as an absolute must. Regarding thier future plans, the Captain Abhilash Kabi stated that:
Winning the tournament and building a stronger chess team will be our motto.
The defending champions in the NIT arena, team NIT-R displayed great skill and grit to win the coveted trophy this year. However, the players have a tough time practising for the tournaments. The nets that were put up in STSC for the players for practice lies in a broken state and they are left with no place to practice. Even during night time, they are not being provided with ample amount of light as out of the 16 floodlights, only 10 are operational. A roller is still missing which is used to maintain the turf. Quoting about the future, the captain, Debananda Behera, stated:
We are the defending champions and will look forward to retaining the title once again. We plan to practice more this year. Since most of the institute players have passed out, we plan to build a strong team as soon as possible and win back the title.
Taking the matter of unavailability of practise nets at STSC, the authorities confirmed that it will be put up within 10-15 days. According to the SAS officers, they have already put forward a proposal at the Estate Office. Upon further inquiry at the EO, Mr. Joydip Mandal, Head of Estate Office, confirmed that they had received the proposal and subsequently forwarded it for estimates to the Director’s office. The entire process usually takes around 10-12 days and they expect it to process at the same rate.
Football, the most energetic and popular sport in the world, is also high on popularity among the NIT-R fraternity. The players have a very settled ground in the form of Dilip Tirkey Stadium, to practise. The players are hard-working and are dedicated towards the game. Coming to the shortcomings, the ground for football has no grass due to which players get injured and shoes get wasted. During winter, life gets difficult due to the dust and sand that covers the playing area. Along with that, there is no proper arrangement of drinking water and toilet facility at DTS. Regarding future plans, the Captain Debapriya Chhotray quoted:
Regularity and Punctuality are two things that we see in a player apart from good skills. The freshers are inducted to fill the voids created by graduated players. I hope that I build a strong football team.
Upon questioning the authorities, the issue of dust in football grounds in winters is to be sorted out this year, as they are planning on installing water sprinklers to prevent dust from floating in the air.
The main problem for this underrated sport is quite expectedly the lack of enthusiasm and the negligence surrounding it. Although a relatively new sport in NIT-R, the team has already mustered quite a few regular events in its kitty like the Inter-NIT in NIT Surathkal, where it performed appreciably well, considering the fact it was their debut. The team practised in DTS till recently and now that the ground has been shifted towards the poorly maintained far-end of STSC, the lighting has become a major problem for the players. Though both the Kho-Kho and Handball team was shifted here together, the Kho-Kho team has moved back to DTS, while this team continues to play under less conducive conditions with a stony court, rusty goalposts and overgrown grass in the play area. The team captain Birju Pal certainly expected a change in this condition, as he iterated:
We want to move back to the well-maintained and well-lit conditions of DTS like the other teams, as practising becomes quite difficult in the evening under low light.
Despite the team's nascency and less popularity, the team expects quite a decent turnout for their inductions in September so that they have enough skilled players to conduct Inter-Halls, and thus get a much-needed warm-up for this year's meet in NIT Surathkal. The captain seemed quite optimistic about achieving more this year as he said:
We are very much focused for the Inter-NIT at Surathkal and hope to make a podium finish this time. The Inter-Hall would be a stepping stone to that end.
The institute Hockey team practices at DTS which is a football ground.The main problem is that the ground is never prepared for practice and it becomes difficult to play without the proper markings. The gear and equipment, especially for the goalkeeper are in a sorry state and the sticks have worn out due to overuse. A regular institute team member said
The ground is never readied beforehand. The goal post is in tatters and the ball often gets through the nets. Some of the items are never given when asked and as such it lies and deteriorates over time.
The team went to Spardha and the Inter-NIT Competition last year and the focus on winning these coveted titles remain a strong point this year.
Kabaddi is yet to come out of its potential cocoon in the NIT-R sphere. The kabaddi players here are provided with a very nice ground to play alongside medical kits on a regular basis. The requirement of a full-time coach and old sports equipment the two major problems in the shortcomings list.
Kho-kho players express their severe dissatisfaction over the game from the authorities. The ground lies in a dilapidated state to which the missing poles add a gloomy picture. The players find it very difficult to play in such conditions. Even after such negligence, the captain hopes that they will excel in tournaments like Inter-NIT Sports and in Spardha at IIT BHU, through practice and dedication towards the game.
Asking about the feasibility of providing a separate place for practise to the Kabaddi and Kho-Kho teams, the SAS Officers stated:
We are thinking of converting the ground adjacent to STSC as Kho-Kho and Kabaddi grounds. The existent problem of improper lighting will soon be sorted out.
Lawn tennis fits itself beautifully in the P.T. Usha Sports Complex. The lawn tennis players face a lot of difficulties due to lack of maintenance of courts. Out of 3 courts, only 2 have a proper net installed in it and thus the space constraint also plays a role in the degradation of the sport at the Institute. The tennis team had made it to the semi-finals of Inter NIT competition in 2013. Quoting about the future plans, the captain, Vishal Vasudevan stated,
After the rainy season, we are planning to have regular practice sessions in the evenings and if possible in the mornings on weekends. We plan to participate in Spardha this year and the team is well prepared. We will use our tournament experience to increase our chances of winning the Inter NIT competition.
Upon questioning the authorities regarding the condition of the Lawn Tennis ground, team MM was notified that the aluminium radar blocks the passage of the heavy vehicles which carry the materials for maintenance purposes. They, however, assured us that the fence will be cut and the maintenance work will begin soon enough.
One of the chief problems is that the games like Karate, Kickboxing, and Taekwondo are not given much importance and it is not even a part of Inter-NITs. As such, in spite of training equally hard, the players do not get adequate recognition. The equipment used in martial arts are often very essential for advanced levels of training and due to the expenses, they haven’t been bought for a long time. As such the equipment is not sufficient for all the members especially since more and more people have been inducted into the team. Quoting the captain of the team, Gaurav Singh,
We want a ring or mattress for proper practise.The budget has always been low and the team is often forced to prioritize on certain equipment only and compromise with the rest. Further, a regular trainer would be highly beneficial for the members.
The queen of all sports, Swimming, is something that has made NIT-R proud time and again. The team had been awarded runners up in the year 2015-16 in the Inter NIT competition. The swimming team has a plethora of problems starting from time constraint as the allotted 40 minutes time seem to insufficient for players to practice daily. The Inter NIT competition is organized during January every year and the temperature of the ice cold water prevents players from practising. The proposal for installation of water heater was put forward by the former Director but it still in transit. The captains, Amit Rajwonkar and Venu Pandit were quoted as saying:
Next year, we will hope for some better results as the Inter NIT competition will be held in January at Surathkal. So, the climate maybe a problem but we will put in our best during the practise sessions.
Table Tennis is a popular indoor game played in the NIT-R fraternity. The area within DTS provides ample lighting and space for the players to practice. Lately, sufficient amount of funds haven’t been provided, thereby hampering the future prospects of the game. The captain, Asish Agarwal, wishes to practice more and wins tournaments like Spardha, the sports fest of IIT-BHU and the Inter NIT Sports competition.
Track and Field
The track and field community is a vibrant community consisting of numerous events like 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m Sprint, 110m, 440m Hurdles, 1500m and 5000m Long Jump, 100*4 and 400*4 Relay, High Jump, Triple Jump, Shotput, Javelin, Hammer throw and Discuss throw. The ground is too hard for the liking of the players which hampers their practice and also leads to numerous injuries. The team is eyeing to win again in the Inter NIT competition meet to be held in NIT, Jaipur from 3-5 Nov. Quoting about the future plans, the captain, Mahaveer stated:
We have been assured that we will be assisted by a coach around the month of October. Things will surely change after the arrival of a coach.
Volleyball, as a sport, has gained tremendous popularity at the institute level. However, the players seem to be dissatisfied with the court. The court for volleyball is often visited by peddlers and cyclists, leaving their imprints on the court and making it difficult for the players to practice. The equipment provided is also inadequate for the appointment of a regular coach. The players even face a lot of problems during reimbursement of tickets from the authorities. However, the performance of the team has been commendable with the men’s team bagging the second runners up in Inter NIT 2016 and the women’s team making it to the quarter finals in the same competition.
To overcome these problems a proposal for fencing the P.T. Usha Sports complex had been put forward by the SAS Officers but is still pending at the Director’s office.
Equipment and Diet
Currently, the only dietary supplements sanctioned for the various sports team members are eggs and bananas and though some physically demanding sports call for an up gradation, the present status quo would likely be maintained in this regard.
As per equipment and gears are concerned, a bulk of the supplies directly come from either the personal stocks or bought collectively by the initiatives of the team members. However, the expensive and heavy items are always provisioned by SAC and unless the worn-out parts are replaced soon, the players have to make do with the old and obsolete gear. The indoor facility behind the gallery of DTS, for instance, faces an almost chronic shortage of balls, pads, helmets, and gloves and often students other than Institute team players never get access to good quality supplies. Even the team members had to share body protective gear with each other, especially in martial arts, where participation has almost tripled over the last year.
The last two years have yet to see any major upgrades in the sports facilities although a number of notable proposals were put forward in the last Annual-Alumni meet in Hyderabad last December. This included a highly modernized indoor stadium with an open air theatre and courts for basketball, squash, and tennis among others. However, a complete overhaul could face a possible bottleneck due to the budgetary red-tape and as such, the attractive concept of such a complex looks inconveniently distant, if not altogether delusive. The only promising agenda currently on board is the up gradation of the swimming pool with motorized filtration equipment and laying of new tennis courts in place of the old twins. Still, even the authorities look quite lost in a matter of the indoor stadium, as in the words of Prof N.K. Vissa:
So far we do not have any information regarding this. Actually, this year the budget has been reduced a bit compared to last year when we had the inter-NIT sports meet. So for that, no plans are currently on board.
With the recently concluded SAC elections, the student community has already got new student representatives for the Games and Sports society but so far, barring an interactive introduction no major proposal has gone down through this channel. However, Prof Vissa seemed quite inclined to interact with the captains anytime soon in order to listen to their problems first-hand.
Events and Competitions
The sporting season begins right at the beginning of the autumn semester, despite the heavy rains of Rourkela marring any sportsman spirit. The fields light up as the fresh batch of enthusiasts for the various sports teams line up for their trials and the inductions are followed by plenty of matches of what we call the ‘Institute vs Freshers’. The orientations and inductions for this year’s Football, Basketball, Kho-Kho, teams have in fact been concluded recently. Now, for the next few months until December these teams will see an intense rehearsal regime that will include friendly, intra-hall, inter-hall and inter-branch matches to train them for the Annual Sports Meet in January 2018. As per the latest SAC restructuring, this remains one of the three major events in the academic calendar and this year will probably see its glorious comeback after the ‘uneventful’ last year when we only had the Inter-NIT to cheer for.
The schedule of the upcoming matches are given below
The Arena of Glory
The institute team had quite a glittering inventory of trophies from last year’s Inter-NIT cricket and swimming tournament for which NIT-R itself was a venue.
In the Inter-NIT sports meet in NIT-Surathkal held during March the Institute teams for Hockey, Kho-Kho, Volleyball and Handball participated, with the three latter being on their debut performance, and all of them performed decently in spite of the lack of proper expert guidance during the approaching months. The coaches were only provided towards the last moments and as such the players were deprived of adequate practice. One surely hopes this will not be the case this year.
The Grass On the Other Bank
Team MM also investigated on the existing sports facilities at other premier sports facilities like IIT Kharagpur BITS Pilani, and IIT Bombay to give you a comparative scenario of the sports facilities there.
The life of a student sportsman at IIT-Kharagpur primarily revolves around the technology students’ Gymkhana, and the TAS (Technology Aquatic Society). The institute has 2 full-sized playgrounds—the Tata Steel Sports Complex and the Jnan Ghosh Stadium plus a swimming pool very much like NIT Rourkela. Coaches are provided to all the teams and regular inter-hall events are held.
The BITS Pilani Campus has about 5 main grounds, and 2 courts in every hostel, one a badminton court and one general field. There are about 10-12 specialised clubs for various sports.
In IIT Bombay there is a single large Gymkhana Ground and smaller grounds to complement them. About 20 sports are officially played and endorsed.
The students studying in foreign universities are taught hundreds of sports. They have pretty large complexes, large enough to hold two football grounds, volleyball ground, indoor courts, swimming pools and much more. Even adventure sports like skydiving and kayaking are encouraged and several sports work in collaboration with the college to provide best available facilities to the students.
Team MM hopes that the flag of NIT-R reach even greater heights in this year as our teams continue to win many more trophies and break all records. We also pledge to stand behind our dedicated and hardworking players and wishes them all the best.