mid day editorial: There are huge gaps in our sports facilities

Published: Dec 12, 2018, 07:10 IST | mid-day online desk | Mumbai

The University stadium is one of the city's historical venues for track and field athletes

Three days after this newspaper reported on the perilous condition of the Mumbai University stadium at Marine Lines, a premier athletic facility in SoBo, reactions are still pouring in from school authorities, parents and athletes.

The University stadium is one of the city's historical venues for track and field athletes. For years now, the Marine Lines facility has hosted Mumbai's premier running clubs who use it as their favourite and most accessible stomping ground. It is booked chock-a-block, especially in this sporting season, by schools and colleges who hold sports meets there.

Yet, the rickety stands and missing wooden planks are a real hazard to limbs. Spectators and athletes who sit on these benches have to hop and jump over the gaps in the stands. The gaps in the bleachers are so wide that a child or even an adult can fall through them get seriously injured.

The authorities questioned for a report in this paper gave the scripted answer stating that they would look into the matter. These stands have been a problem for years; it's not something that has just cropped up now. There have been on-and-off repair attempts, only to for the stands to get damaged again. Those in-charge have to come up with a permanent solution to this shocking state of affairs.

As we race towards becoming a multi-sport nation and eye the podium at the highest level, facilities like these are unacceptable. If MU cannot find a solution, maybe the sports minister needs to step in.

Let us encourage spectators to fill these stands as local athletes compete. Even by simply watching sports, children can develop an interest in it. Coupled with talent and proper training, we may have a medal-winner. The authorities must look into this before we have an extremely serious case at Marine Lines.

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