Ready to Roar: Spardha and IIT Kanpur Sports Fest Preparations
The autumn of 2017 is all set to witness the grand sporting events in IIT BHU and IIT Kanpur. The sports fest of IIT BHU, popularly known as Spardha will be held during 27-29th October and the Sports fest of IIT Kanpur is scheduled from 12-15th October. The sporting community of NITR has once again braved all odds and made sure that they work hard enough to prove their brilliance in the upcoming fests. Team Monday Morning caught up with the teams who will be participating in the fests and brings you a brief report on their preparations.
IIT Kanpur Sports Fest:
The following teams will be participating in the Sports festival of IIT Kanpur, which is scheduled to be held from 12th to 15th October:
This year will mark the debut of Kho-Kho Men’s Team at IIT Kanpur Sports Fest. The Kho-Kho women’s team has decided to give the event a miss due to some issues with team inductions. The Men’s Kho-Kho team faced a shortage of players at the beginning of the session, probably due to lack of familiarity of the sport among the students. Eventually, students showed interest in the game and presently the team has a satisfactory strength.
The team, however, confesses to having faced a lot of hindrances in getting quality sporting infrastructure. The apathy of the individuals concerned with the preparation of the court caused delays in the commencement of the practice sessions of the Kho–Kho Team. The quality of the court was dubbed by the team as satisfactory but not above average.
Talking about the team’s strategy to improve the performance as compared to the previous semester, the team claims to have worked hard upon upgrading its skills. The Induction process followed this year also ensured that they got more skilled players for this session. The captain believes that there is no substitute for hard work and hence the team has worked tremendously hard for the event.
This event would also mark the debut of the Basketball team (men’s) in the sports fest of IIT Kanpur. The women’s team has decided to give the event a miss as it is focussing on Inter NIT to be held in the next semester. The Men’s team seems to be well prepared and has confidence in its ability to confront the teams participating in the Fest. It has been preparing for Inter NIT since the beginning of this semester, which has helped in supplementing their preparation for IIT Kanpur too. The team had participated in Inter NIT in the previous academic session and reached the quarterfinals.
The Sporting infrastructure provided has disappointed the team a bit. The multitude of cracks developed in the Institute Basketball court has been deemed as unsatisfactory for preparation of such National level events. No visible action has been taken to improve this situation as per a member of the team, Mukesh Apat. Earlier this year, the floodlights of one of the courts were out of order but prompt action was taken after the team complained about it. They expect such response for the reparation of the court too. The transportation facilities have been provided by the SAC funds and the equipment provided too was of the best quality.
On the playing front, the team has participated in local tournaments to get exposure. The team has strategized well and also played matches against and with the Basketball team of Rourkela Steel Plant. The confidence of the team can be called nothing short of Impressive at this juncture.
The Hockey Team which was eliminated in the league stage in Spardha in the previous year has made blood and sweat one in preparing for the Sports Fest of IIT Kanpur. The Captain of the team Kumar Shanu claims to have the team well geared up to perform, despite all odds at IIT Kanpur.
Talking of problems faced during the preparation, the hockey team has a lot of grievances to share. The team understands that investing in a full-fledged stadium isn’t feasible on the Institute’s part; hence the team works contentedly with the provided facilities in DTS. However, their major complaint remains that their demand of a coach has been ignored for a long time till now.
Quoting the Captain of the team:
The team is in dire need of a proper coach, but the last time a coach was provided was two years ago and the coach left as he wasn’t paid the requisite amount that he usually charges. Since then, the team has proceeded to practice informally under my guidance only. We can attribute the dismal performance in the previous year to the lack of proper coaching as well.
The team also complains that the Institute only provides travel allowances and not daily allowance. The equipment provided also doesn’t comply with the standards of the National competitions, as the hockey sticks provided are inexpensive and lack shock absorption capability.
On the Playing front, the team has tried to practice rigorously under the guidance of the Captain, who is a trained player. The team has also tried to improve its performance by playing with the players of the Team of Rourkela Steel Plant.
The newest addition to the sporting community of NITR is the Institute Handball Team. The team has a reassuring level of confidence to compete at IIT Kanpur. The team was formed in January and went on to participate in the Inter NIT in March 2017. It finished 4th out of the 9 teams that participated.
The team captain Birju Pal confesses of having faced many problems in building the Handball team at NITR. However, the team presently boasts of 15 skilled players and has practiced well enough to confront the competition in IIT Kanpur.
The team, however, regrets that no support has been provided by the authorities in forming a handball women’s team. Quoting the captain Birju Pal:
The sport is still quite new to the NITR community and we cannot claim that we have recieved the best support that we expected. No coaches were provided, nor were the authorities very enthusiastic at the beginning. The things have started improving lately. We expect that the players will show their dedication in the fests and bring laurels to NITR.
The cricket team which was runners-up in Spardha last year is all set to repeat it’s glorious performance this year too. On a tete a tete with the team’s captain Debananda Behera, he said:
The major problem that we faced last year was the difference between pitches at NITR and that of IIT- BHU. At NIT Rourkela, we used to play on mats but in Spardha, we had to play the league matches in mats (which we won) but the semi-finals and finals were on artificial turfs, which we weren’t acquainted with. It was a complete new experience and thus we lost. Fortunately, due to the recent Inter-NIT cricket tournament, a turf was made at NITR. Thus the team is now practicing on both mats and turfs to ensure better performance of the members.
The other problems that he highlighted included the broken net structures which have been in this condition for quite some time now, as a result of which they have to use bamboo instead. The absence of an automatic roller is another crunch that the team is facing. Besides these, the team has demanded supply of water to the field as the turfs need water but owing to the shortage of funds, no steps have been taken by the concerned authorities.
Last year, on the playing front, out of 16 members of the team, there were 9 final years and they passed out this year. This has been a major setback as the newly inducted members are amateurs and need more practice and training. Nevertheless, the team members without hesitation are trying their level best to meet their potentials and to match up to the level of the competition.
The Table Tennis team of NITR qualified till the quarterfinals round at Spardha’16. Owing to the underperformance of some players, they lost the semi-finals to NIT Trichy. On asking about the problems they have faced so far and the steps that have been taken to counter it, the captain of the team Asish Agarwal said:
We are practicing for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening daily to ensure better performance of the players. Most members are a novice in this game and the practice sessions were prolonged to make them acquainted with it. Also, this time we are practicing with multi-balls to sharpen the strokes of the players.
The team holds its practice sessions at DTS. The other problems which he brought to light were the lack of cleanliness and the old and worn out table provided for practice. A new table whose installation had been delayed for around 7 months, has been installed recently. Also, the team does not have a coach or any skilled personnel to guide them. They watch youtube videos and generally learn from it.
Amidst all these hitches, the team is working hard and trying its level best to excel.
Although the team managed to put a decent performance last year, they couldn’t make it past the group stage primarily due to the hand injury of their former captain Tathagatha Kundu.
On asking about the issues faced by the team, the current captain of the team said,
The condition of the practice courts are worsening day by day as the cracks are widening making it tough for the players to deliver a smooth performance. Earlier there were three courts, but two of them are in a usable condition now. Moreover, the courts that we have at NITR are made of concrete while IIT-BHU has synthetic courts which most team members are not acquainted with. We have made innumerable complaints to fill the cracks but we didn’t get any response. Recently, the SAC officers approached us and ensured that they will renovate the court completely but nothing seems to have been done ever since. It is hoped that the renovation work will start soon.
Although the practice was good for the Badminton team, the girl’s team couldn’t qualify for the semi-finals while the boy’s team couldn’t make it past the group stage at Spardha’16. This year, 4 members from the girl’s team and 5 members of the boy’s team are going to IIT-BHU. The selection of the members who will be going to the fest this year has not been made yet.
The captain of the boy’s team Nihar Ranjan Behera said,
The primary problem we faced last year was the inability of the team to play with feather shuttles. The rackets we use are purchased by us while the Institute provides us with shuttles. These shuttles are made of plastic and feather shuttles are made available to us only 2-3 weeks prior to the tournament. Also, the team practices in GDB indoor court which is not well-maintained and is also very close to the gym which causes disturbances during the practice sessions.
This year, the team members are working harder and are also indulging in off-court practice to build up their stamina.
In Spardha’16, the Institute girls’ team won their first match against NIT-Trichy. Owing to the ill-health of the members, they lost the following match against IIT-Delhi. The boys’ Volleyball team could not go beyond the quarter-finals, where they played against the hosts- IIT-BHU.
Following this, the boys’ team captain Sambit said:
Unlike the IITs, we don’t get coaches round the year. There is no one who could guide us through or give us last minute tips. In Spardha, there is anticlockwise rotation of the players in the game, which we weren’t acquainted with. This was the primary hurdle that we had to deal with. Nevertheless, this year we have worked on it and improved our game.
Furthermore, the team practices in PT Usha ground into which, sometimes students walk past or even ride cycles right through the middle causing difficulties during practice. In the midst of these issues, the team is practicing day in and day out to improvise their game and to ensure better performance of the players.
Team Monday Morning wishes that all the participating teams get a chance to prove their mettle and emerge as a force to reckon within the sporting community across different colleges of the nation. We wish them with all the luck for their respective events.