Madikeri hockey turf: A case of all dressed up, but nowhere to go!
Though work on laying the synthetic hockey turf at Madikeri was completed last year, the ground is yet to be thrown open for national and international competitions due to bureaucratic red-tape.
Kodagu, one of the nurseries of Indian hockey, now boasts of a Rs 3.5 crore synthetic turf facility imported from Australia.
The ground has not been used for competitive hockey due to the fact that it was not certified by a technical team from the International Hockey Federation (FIH). A team from Australia inspected the ground three months ago and certified it as “fit for play”.
According to reports, the new ground will be inaugurated in September following a decision taken at the monitoring committee meeting of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) recently at Madikeri.
Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill is likely to inaugurate the ground.
The land for the ground has been leased by the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, to the Coorg Hockey Association (CHA), whereas the synthetic turf was laid by the SAI.
According to Prince Karumbaiah, Administrative Officer of the SAI, Madikeri, discussions at Wednesday’s meeting focused on the issue of sharing the ground facility by the SAI and the CHA.
The CHA proposes the construction of a Club House at one portion of the ground.
The preliminary work at the ground was done by the Central Public Works Department, which was entrusted with the job by the SAI, New Delhi, last year.
Once the ground is commissioned for competitive hockey, the youth of Kodagu could take full advantage of the facilities.
EDITOR’S VIEW: Though many people in Kodagu feel that the Kodava family hockey tournaments could be held at the new synthetic turf, this portal is of the view that the family tournaments should be held at playgrounds in small towns to improve the infrastructure.
For instance, the Kallichanda hockey tournament held at Ponnampet helped in improving the infrastructure at the local junior college.