Chandigarh coaches pitch for one more Astroturf for hockey

Chandigarh coaches pitch for one more Astroturf for hockey

At present, Chandigarh has got only one full-fledged Astroturf field at Sector 42 Sports Complex. File Photo

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 29

With the Chandigarh Hockey Academy’s quota of seats under the Khelo India initiative being increased significantly, the coaches here are pitching for an additional Astroturf field.

At present, the city has one full-fledged Astroturf field at Sector 42 Sports Complex and a mini-Astroturf (practice arena) at the Sector 18 based hockey stadium.

The city has been allotted 30 seats – 15 boys and 15 girls – under the Kehlo India scheme.

“There’s no harm in getting another full-fledged Astroturf field. Currently, the entire load is on Sector 42 Sports Complex. The other facility (at Sector 18) is meant for practice, not for matches,” said a senior coach.

Sources claimed that a proposal was made for another field at the Sector 42 Sports Complex (South Sector). However, the clearance from the Forest Department was turning out to be a stumbling block.

“The project was rejected a few years ago. However, the authorities can have another field at Sector 18 or at any other Sector. It’s not necessary to have both the fields at a single venue,” said another source.

“Also, the girls’ hostel is located at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, so it’s ideal to have one field in the vicinity of the hostel,” the source added.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had earlier selected the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium, Chandigarh, as one of the eight Khelo India State Centres of Excellence.

Besides hockey, academies for boxing and rowing have also been given approval under the scheme.

A total of 90 seats were awarded under the scheme.

“Though it’s not easy to have another Astroturf field in a short span of time, the administration can always ask for the Centre’s help. Also, the Astroturf field at Sector 42 was laid in 2015… the average life of a field is somewhere close six or seven years. So, having an additional Astroturf field is necessary,” said a senior coach.

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