National stadium to have squash courts

The Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium at India Gate, that had hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951, and known for its hockey facility, is all set to add squash in its complex. The Union External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, himself an avid squash player, laid the foundation for six squash courts at the Stadium in the presence of the Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, on Wednesday.

Looking forward to playing at the facility, estimated to cost about ₹5.52 crore, and scheduled to be ready in six months, the External Affairs Minister said that such facilities would democratise sport. “We have to democratise sport, it must not be a privilege. Most of the sports in which we have done well is because it has been democratised. I hope, in the case of squash, it is one step in that direction,” Dr. Jaishankar said.

Interestingly, three of the six courts will have moving wall facility that would convert them into doubles courts as well.

“To have space in the National Stadium itself has its own significance. This facility is not only going to be world class but also a Centre of Excellence where we will be producing world champions. I am sure budding players will take maximum benefit of this centre,” said the Sports Minister Rijiju.

Present among others were the Director General of Sports Authority of India (SAI), Sandip Pradhan and the secretary general of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), Cyrus Poncha.

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