Grounds are for sports, not functions, said Sachin Tendulkar

Grounds are not mere open sites to be exploited, said Sachin Tendulkar, sports icon and legendary cricketer, adding that grounds need to be used for sports and not other activities.

He was speaking about the approach towards sports in academic institutions that require reformation, on Monday, at the launch of mission young and fit India, organised by Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). The event was held at Chandrashekhar auditorium, inter-university centre for astronomy and astrophysics (Iucaa). The objective of the initiative was to inspire and drive the youth towards a healthy and fit future.

Talking about the lack of proper grounds, that can sometimes keep students’ athletic aspirations at bay, he added, “Grounds specifically made for sports should be used for it alone. These are not open lands that can be occupied and then used for whatsoever function or work. They cannot be exploited and should be treated like heritage sites; the education administration and the government should look into its protection and maintenance.”

Tendulkar’s remarks came against the background of the recent controversy at SPPU that its ground was being used for film set.

The vice-chancellor of the varsity, Nitin Karmalkar, stated that the administration is planning to establish a larger sports complex within the university, by next year.

During the occasion, meant to be an interaction between the icon, a selected few authorities and the sports directors of 250 institutions affiliated to the varsity, Tendulkar pointed out the need to expose young students to the world of sports.


“From a very young age, that is, in schools, children should be encouraged to take up sports for the sake of a holistic mind and body growth, as well as to shape them into the discipline of being fit. Sports, teaches a lot many interpersonal skills, in fact, should be made compulsory in schools. It’s alarming to see how children have to be dragged to play outside. It can have a dangerous outcome which we need to prevent” he said.


“Also, not many schools have proper playgrounds or a sports field, and a few others do. In such a scenario, the schools with playgrounds should not make it exclusive for their students only, but open the doors for children from the neighbouring schools as well,” he added.

According to Tendulkar, such a move will not only increase student interaction and breed healthy competition, but also inculcate the idea of taking health seriously among the youth.

However, despite the attempts by the varsity, to send a positive message of good health and lifestyle among the youth, it came under criticism from students and student bodies for not allowing students to witness the live interaction. Colleges interested to broadcast the event were asked to do so in their respective campus through a community projector.


© Hindustan Times

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