Junior national athletics: bad arrangements hit athletes

BENGALURU: Some of the best athletes in the country who traveled to Guntur they were surprised to see the below average accommodation and bad arrangements at the 35th National Junior Athletics Championship that started in the Acharya Nagarjuna University campus on saturday

Despite the fatigue of the trip, all athletes were forced to wait from 10 am to 8 pm on Friday just to register, a member of a state team told STOI.

The accommodation provided by the organizers also did not meet the minimum standard, since the teams received large rooms without basic facilities.

A team got two sheets for 60 athletes to sleep on the floor. Because of this, many athletes were forced to fend for themselves without the organizers providing them with food, sources said in the Karnataka The team said Many athletes were forced to reserve rooms in nearby cabins paying their own money. We checked with the officials who have accompanied our team about the basic arrangements, but they had no answers to our questions.

The meeting place was also criticized. Except for the synthetic track, there is nothing else. Before each event, athletes are called to a small tent that is the makeshift call room. There is no gallery or seats for other athletes and spectators. The AFI must take responsibility and conduct such large events in a better way, sources said.

A worried father even tweeted the plight of the athletes to the sports minister Kiren Rijiju and the Prime Minister's Office. @KirenRijiju sir, athletes are kept on street and muddy floor from morning in the Junior National Athletics meet at Guntur. Future of Indian sports! @PMOIndia, he tweeted.

A veteran coach, who has been part of the junior meetings for the past two decades, said that nothing has changed except the color of the badges. This is no way to treat our young athletes. On the one hand, the government says that the focus is on the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games. But these are the facilities that provide young people who are expected to win laurels at those Games. It's the same old story. And that is repeated every year, he said.