Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where Sports matters more than Academics !! – A walk through the LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram

In Kerala, there is no doubt about the fact that physical education is given way low priority in schools, where teachers and parents alike are hell bound in spoon feeding kids with a plethora of unwanted information, which they have to simply recollect during exams. Eventually exams turn out to be a test of retention power of students. All this has resulted in making most of the students perceiving only the field of Medicine or Engineering as the career option.

This kind of high importance in academics has had its effect in Kerala’s performance in National Games. Kerala is indeed one of the states which had produced a number of great athletes. But of late the supremacy of Kerala has been questioned, if one goes through the standings in the National Games.

Under these circumstances, I was surprised to see a beautiful and well maintained infrastructure for sports training in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It was the time of our annual cricket tourney and this time the venue was Lakshmi Bhai National Centre for Physical Education. The cricket enthusiast in me still not dying down, so naturally I was also part of one of the teams. Apart from playing cricket it turned out to be a fantastic day as I could walk around and find some of the finest grounds all in a sprawling campus.

The cricket stadium was really big and the green grass cover was a pleasure to be in. Diving around was such a pleasant experience. Beyond the boundary there was a thick cover of trees and the whole set up was a treat to the eye.

By the time I started operating my camera, our game was over and the next game had started.

It was fun watching the game in such exquisite settings. Never did I imagine that we have such a huge stadium here in Thiruvananthapuram. The official ones – the central stadium, university stadium and Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium will not come close to this one.

One more shot of the players in action. Watch those trees in the background

After enjoying the game for some time I had a walk around to see other facilities. Very close to the cricket stadium which also doubles up as the football ground, are the Basket ball court and the Tennis courts.

There is a well laid out tarred road inside the campus. A walk through this route was really energizing thanks to greenery around. Watch this beautiful tree on the side

Another stadium was present adjacent to the tree. I had to literally climb up a steep surface to see what is inside. It was a beautiful velodrome.

The heavy gush of wind flowing across gave a soothing effect even in the presence of mid afternoon sun. The hostels for the inmates was visible from here. All buildings seemed neat and well maintained (Don’t know about its internals though)

One more big stadium was visible from the velodrome. It turned out to be a beautiful athletics stadium with the newly laid synthetic track giving it a very colorful look.

The campus is really huge and there were many internal routes too. The roads look really inviting and a walk through this path is really worth it, thanks to all the greenery around

The facilities available in each route are marked in sign boards. Watch this sign board.

The swimming pool marked in this sign board is of international standard and there is a diving pool too. Depth ranges from 1.8 meter on one side to 15 meter on the other side of the 100 meter long pool. Non inmates can also make use of this swimming pool facility, by taking a monthly pass of Rs.50 and then paying Rs.10 for each 1hour usage. Time for public usage is 6.30am to 7.30am and 5pm to 6pm (I too took a monthly pass, but for getting it, we have to bear with the typical arrogant and bossy attitude of the securities and the person in charge who seems to treat every person as intruders. Wonder, when will all these people learn about customer service?)

After the swimming pool there was a health and fitness centre. This too was a big building, but since it was closed, I could not take a peep inside.

A further walk ahead took me near to the main building which housed the offices and the classrooms. Even though this is a centre which gives prime importance to sports, degree programs are on offer here and the students have to spend some time for classroom study during the day.

The main building too looked good with some big trees around.

Adjacent to the main building there were two small ponds, which too was neatly maintained along with the lawns.

The beauty of the ponds were due to the beautiful flowers bloomed inside it. Watch these

The walk was really long and I was getting drained down soon. But the grounds around with the trees lines up made up for the loss of energy

Soon I came back to the cricket ground and took some well needed rest watching all the action happening.

It was a pleasant experience to watch such kind of facilities for sports in this part of the country. Now onwards when I go through the sports page, I will definitely check whether the medal winners are a product of LNCPE, because that is what defines the purpose of this campus.

Quick Facts

Name of the Place:
Lakshmi Bhai National Centre for Physical Education

Karyavattom, Thiruvananthapuram. (Take east ward turn from Karyavattom Junction)

Facilities available for Public:
Walking / Jogging (at a monthly rate)
Swimming Pool (Monthly pass @ Rs. 50 and Rs 10 per hour)

Cricket/Football stadium:
Book for a day (Check for the availability by contacting their office)


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