Famed for sporting talent, zeal for games flagging in Jalandhar district : The Tribune India

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Famed for sporting talent, zeal for games flagging in Jalandhar district

Few players turn up for college wing trials, grounds remain largely empty

Famed for sporting talent, zeal for games flagging in Jalandhar district

Players take part in sports trials in Jalandhar on Monday. The participation in trials for the sports wings has dwindled over the years. Photo: Sarabjit Singh



Tribune News Service

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Jalandhar, June 24

It seems like sports has taken a backseat in Jalandhar from where many legendary players rose to eminence because of their contribution to the discipline they represented, bringing fame to the district.

Poor turnout of players was witnessed during the college wing trials today. The grounds were almost empty and coaches were seen waiting for more players to come. The wings are for selection in colleges associated with Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjab Technical University and Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Sports University, Patiala.

Players take part in sports trials in Jalandhar on Monday. The participation in trials for the sports wings has dwindled over the years. Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Not even a single participant came for swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, badminton, fencing and cycling. Games like kho kho, powerlifting, judo, weightlifting and gymnastics witnessed less than five players for the trials. Out of 305 players, who turned up, 125 gave trials for football.

Jalandhar is renowned for producing exceptional national and international players, including recipients of the prestigious Padma Shri and Arjuna awards. However, the participation in trials for the sports wings has dwindled over the years. The Tribune had earlier highlighted that the coaches attribute this decline to the diminishing interest of students in sports as more and more are opting to go abroad in pursuit of different vocations.

Trials for the residential wing of Government Sports School were held three months ago. Till now, neither has the list of selected candidates been released, nor has the wing been started. A coach said this also seemed to be one of the reasons for players losing interest.

Coaches of various disciplines said the players who gave trials had been inquiring about selection and admissions. There were 334 seats for the day scholar wing for which, the sports officials said, nearly 1,000 players took part. For 120 seats in the residential wing, 457 candidates had appeared in the trials.

One of the coaches, requesting anonymity, had earlier said that last year too, the wings had started late. “We keep getting queries from the players. With this attitude, we may see much lower participation, which has already decreased over the past few years,” he said.

The coaches said there was a high possibility that any further delay would lead to the players taking admissions to other institutes and they would not come.

No participant for several games

Not even a single participant came for swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, badminton, fencing and cycling. Games like kho kho, powerlifting, judo, weightlifting and gymnastics witnessed less than five players for the trials. Out of 305 players, who turned up, 125 gave trials for football.

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