Wanted: Basic infrastructure in Srinagar’s lone Rugby ground

Srinagar—2017 was a groundbreaking year for Rugby in Jammu and Kashmir-valley in specific. After being nondescript sport for decades, Rugby was supplied with major boost last year. More and more players emerged on the scene. Stake-holders started to take note and came forward to help. Media’s unprecedented coverage took the sport to another level and players and fans alike had a field time.

Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council didn’t want to be left behind. It organised many a tournament-including much fancied Snow Rugby tourney in Gulmarg- as Rugby started to create a niche in Kashmir.

J&K State Sports Council allotted a ground-previously meant for dominant sports like cricket and football-exclusively for Rugby. The decision to have a ground for Rugby bore fruits within no time with dozens of players-male and female-making their way to Rugby ground Srinagar for practice and training.

Over the time, Sports Council, however, couldn’t manage to keep the ground in a good shape. The ground continues to call for attention as it lacks basic facilities and proper equipment.

The ground- which is practice arena for at least hundred male and sixty female players- is bereft of basic facilities like changing room, washroom, and conference hall. Lack of basic equipments, players say, is proving injurious to them.

Irtiqa Ayoub-assistant coach J&K Rugby Association- felt worried about the worsening condition of the only state-owned Rugby ground in Kashmir,

“I really can’t explain in words how terribly we are suffering. There are no basic facilities like washroom, changing room and conference hall available at ground. Apart from basic facilities, there are no basic equipments as well,” Irtiqa told Kashmir Observer.

She claimed that lack of infrastructure was giving women players a tough time in particular.

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“Girls are facing more problems. I myself suffer a lot. I daily go to some restaurant or other place to use washroom or for changing purpose. This doesn’t feel appropriate, does it?” she said,

“Also, we have no equipments at all, which is resulting in various injuries faced by players. Rugby is a tough and hard played game, playing it without proper equipments is just like playing with fire. But our passion for this game makes us do it,” she said.

“Sports Council gave us ground. Now, we need the facilities and equipments as well. We love this game and want to excel in it but playing without equipments is very dangerous. Recently few of our players injured themselves and this can happen to any of us,” said a group of players.

“We want to request Sports Council to come up with solutions to our problems. We are really in need of basic facilities and equipments,” they said.

Waheed Ur Rehman Para- Secretary Sports Council- who took the lead in handing over the ground to Rugby players last year said he will make sure players are provided with basic facilities and equipment.

“We will surely look into this matter with immediate effect and try to solve all the problems they are facing,” Parra claimed.” It will take us around one month to overcome the problems they are facing.”  

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