Thursday, September 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bhavna swims in glory
By Kamal Kishore Shankar

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Bhavna Maheshwari, the best swimmer of Punjab Agricultural University this year, is a champion in the making.

Bhavna took part in a swimming meet for the first time at the age of 8 and tasted success. She has won several awards in district and state tournaments. She participated in the National Swimming Championships for the first time when she was a 9-year-old.

The pressure of education and lack of proper scientific training checked her ambition to be an international swimmer. Limited swimming meets and apathy towards sport in India discouraged her.

However, in spite of such handicaps, she won 10 gold and two silver medals in the highly competitive inter-college swimming championships of the PAU. It was only due to her efforts that the College of Basic Sciences and Humanities won the champion’s trophy in the tournament. The college had 60 points, 57 of which had been earned by Bhavna alone.

Bhavna is a postgraduate student of business administration of PAU. She says, “Because of a hectic schedule in college, I cannot devote an adequate time to my swimming practice. I owe my performance this year to the past year’s rigorous practice. I could practice for only about two hours a week .”

She criticises the government for its attitude towards sport. She says that politicians brag a lot that they care for sportspersons, whereas, it was not so. She said she had to pay the coaching fee and the pool fee despite winning so many medals.

However, Bhavna’s latest success has given her some consolation. Recognising her enormous talent, the local Municipal Corporation has exempted her from paying the fee for using the MC swimming pool in the Rakh Bagh area.

She said swimmers of the city suffered a lot due to a lack of proper facilities. She said the city swimmers could practice for only six months because all swimming pools were closed in winter.

Bhavna gives the credit of her success to her parents and coaches Darshan Singh, Ajay Sharma, Vishakha Singh and Sarabjit Singh. She likes to paint and read novels.


Paying’ for playing hockey
From Our Sports Reporter

LUDHIANA, Sept 20 — Though the state Sports Department is not facing any financial crunch, it is charging a rent from players for providing them with practice facilities on the PAU Astroturf here.

Col Raminder Singh, Director of the Punjab Sports Department, told mediapersons here today that the department was doing so for the maintenance of the ground. He said sportspersons should also contribute something for the maintenance of infrastructure used by them.

The department charges this rent at the following rates: Rs 15,000 for one hour of practice daily for one year, Rs 20,000 for two hours of practice daily for one year, Rs 8,000 for one hour of practice daily for six months, Rs 10,000 for two hours of practice daily for six months, Rs 3,000 for one hour of practice for one month, Rs 5,000 for two hours of practice daily for one month and Rs 2,500 per day for a tournament.

Col Raminder Singh said that the charges were much less than the expenses incurred on the maintenance of the Astroturf. He said the past month’s power-supply bills alone were for Rs 25,000.

He said, “We are trying to conduct watersport, lawn tennis and shooting tournaments in the state instead of organising these in Chandigarh. A decision has been taken to install wooden flooring in the indoor multipurpose hall. The basket ball court in Guru Nanak Dev Stadium will also be covered by Kota stone. The structural drawings for a velodrome and the PAU Astroturf are ready and the construction will begin within a week,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr S.L. Lotey, District Sports Officer, said the Asian Junior School Hockey Meet would be held from October 17 to 24.

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