MADURAI: Race Course Stadium in Madurai, where several hundreds of aspiring and medal-winning athletes undergo training, has been crying for attention from the State government for the past few months.
Renovated a decade ago, the stadium lacks several basic amenities including washroom facilities and purified drinking water. Activists and athletes have requested the State government to address the issues at the earliest.
The stadium was constructed in the 90s and was renovated with modern facilities including the synthetic track a decade ago. The facilities are being used by several hundreds of aspiring athletes for training in different sports activities, and have also produced numerous medal-winning athletes over the years. Despite all this, the stadium in recent times has given a hard time to the athletes. From the damaged logo in the entrance to the improper washroom facilities, the stadium lacks several amenities, the athletes pointed out.
An athlete who trains every day at the facility, seeking anonymity, said, "Mainly, the area beneath the gallery and others in the stadium is failing to aid the large number of athletes who train at the facility. The improper washrooms cum changing rooms are giving hard times for the athletes to use for changing into their sporting gear. Though the decade-old synthetic track, which was repaired last year, still is uncomfortable for the athletes to use for the events.”
Sources said the stadium provides an exclusive equipped facility for para-athletes who are currently training with limited equipment available in the facility.
When contacted, the District Sports Officer of Madurai Lenin told TNIE, "Periodical maintenance is being done in the stadium with available funds. Though the prevailing synthetic track in the stadium was maintained last year at the cost of `7 lakh, a fresh proposal seeking to relay a new synthetic track at the stadium has been submitted to the State government.” He assured the athletes to take action on minor issues soon.
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