Gadag: The second-largest synthetic track stadium in the state, originally constructed at a significant cost to support youth sports in the district, is now in a state of disrepair due to alleged negligence by the sports department and improper management practices. This has drawn the ire of athletes who are concerned that their training is being compromised. The stadium, initially designated for the practice of young athletes, is currently open to the public for morning walks and various events, leading to damage to the synthetic track.
The synthetic track, a vital asset for athletic development, has reportedly suffered extensive damage due to the negligence of the sports department. Minister HK Patil, a sports enthusiast and the MLA of Gadag, had allocated Rs 2.54 crores to build the state-of-the-art synthetic track during his tenure as the Rural Development Minister. The track had served as a crucial training ground for aspiring athletes in Gadag, propelling many to achieve recognition at the state, national, and international levels. However, the synthetic track is now in a deplorable state, with damages visible throughout.
The synthetic track, designed for use with shoes, is being misused, as the sports department has allowed the public to use it for morning walks. This influx of hundreds of people has led to the degradation of the track. Chandrakant, a sports enthusiast, criticized sports department officials for neglecting the track and causing significant damage. A synthetic track is specifically designed for athletic training and should not be used for other programs. However, the sports department’s alleged leniency towards influential individuals and private events has jeopardized the future of young athletes. Athletes and sports fans are expressing outrage, citing instances where the sports department allowed festivals and cricket tournaments, leading to the track’s complete destruction due to large gatherings.
The deteriorating condition of the track is hindering the training of young athletes, causing concerns about their future. Athletes practicing on the damaged track are now faced with issues like foot pain due to its poor maintenance. The stadium lacks water facilities, adding to the challenges faced by athletes. Athletes are demanding proper management of the stadium, restricting public access to the synthetic track, and ensuring that it serves its intended purpose. They urge sports department officials, ministers, and the district administration to address the situation promptly and safeguard the future of athletes in the district.