By Aman Jain :
A NEW multi-sports facility – FOICER – has come up in East Nagpur. It boasts of one the city’s biggest artificial turf grounds, according to the owners of the facility. The FIFA certified CC+ artificial turf (55 mm thick) can cater to football, cricket, volleyball and rugby as well. Players of these sports can use the facility even in floodlights. Raja Ram Goyal, a dal mill owner, is the brain behind this new sports facility. He owns a vacant piece of land of over 6000 sq ft adjacent to his mill. With not much activity to do due to COVID-19 pandemic, Goyal thought of coming up with a sports facility on the land. “With COVID-19 pandemic situation prevailing, I had no routine work. During this free time, I got an idea to utilise one part of my land to make a well-equipped artificial turf ground for the citizens. In South India and Mumbai, I came across various grounds with this kind of artificial turf. I thought there should be a similar facility for our people who can enjoy sports without any disturbance, have fun with family and friends and spend a good time,” Goyal told ‘The Hitavada’.
The best part of the project is Goyal completed it in just 45 days of conceiving the idea. The FOICER arena situated off Bhandara Road, beside Mehta Petrol Pump, Pritam complex, was inaugurated recently. Goyal claimed that his facility was second in the city and the biggest artificial turf ground for football, volleyball, cricket and rugby. “The FOICER ground is constructed on 6,500 square feet with a cost of Rs 32 lakh. It has over 40 floodlights. It has 55 mm FIFA certified artificial CC+ grass and also a huge net along the boundary where various sports can be played. The length of the ground is 90 feet and breadth is 70 feet,” Goyal informed this scribe. “We procured the artificial turf from Mumbai. One of the major advantages of this floor is that weather conditions are not much of concern. We have provided an efficient drainage system and rainwater can be disposed of quickly without causing much disruption or delay to the game,” the septuagenarian said.
When asked about the main purpose of FOICER, Ashish Goyal (son), who manages the ground and its bookings said, “Currently, FOICER is a place for fun and some sports activity where people who don’t have time in the day due to office or shops can come and relax themselves. “We provide good facility to the citizen. Most of the equipment like bat, ball, stumps, football etc is provided by us. Two teams of 10-15 members each can play at any given time. We are getting pre-bookings for ground before the inauguration but due to lockdown and restrictions on sports, we are not allowing any club or groups to play here as of now.” The novel name of the arena was idea of the trio of Khushi Goyal, Harsh Goyal and Vasupradha Agrawal, who derived it by taking two words each from names of three sports— FO comes from FOotball, IC from crICket and ER from SoccER. On the charges to be paid by the users, Ashish said, “Charges for the ground range from Rs 900 to 1300 per hour depending upon the time slot. The fee structure is divided into three parts — Rs 1000 per hour will be charged in morning session (6 am to 12 noon), Rs 900 from 12 noon to 4 pm and it will be Rs 1300 from 4 pm to 12 midnight. One can pre-book the court or just walk in subject to availability.”