■ Sports Reporter :
THOUGH the city is witnessing a surge in COVID positive cases and deaths related to it, most of the citizens belonging to various fields are against the lockdown imposed by the State government. Sporting fraternity is no different. On Friday, sportspersons and coaches representing different organisations will join hands to protest against lockdown urging Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) to save sports, at their respective places but at the same time — 9.00 am. “This protest by players and coaches is for saving sport. It is my humble request that nobody should take it lightly and actively participate in the protest. This will be the first protest of its kind wherein players from almost all disciplines will come on a common platform. This show will have its effect on the entire State and we all will benefit from it,” urged sports lover Piyush Ambulkar.
The group has shortlisted about 55 venues across the city and have assigned a person to take care of one centre each. Following all COVID norms, the players and coaches will be holding placards. They all will beam it live on Facebook with #CMO #SAVESPORTS. Everybody will upload the photographs mentioning the related sport and the venue. They are requested to use equipment meant for that particular sport. Earlier, a meeting of coaches representing various sports, physical education teachers and sports lovers was held at Reshimbagh ground. They were of the view that regular exercise boost immunity of an individual free of cost and that the State has taken a wrong step by bringing halt to all sports. They also were on the same page regarding allowing training to state and national level players.
On April 11, the group will be submitting memoranda to Municipal Commissioner B Radhakrishnan and Guardian Minister Nitin Raut. They also decided to approach Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. They are expecting about 300 PTIs and coaches for the protest. Some of the venues that have been finalised are as under: Divisional Sports Complex, Mankapur; RashtrasantTukadoji Maharaj University Ground, Ravi Nagar; Kasturchand Park, Samvidhan Chowk; Chitnavis Park, Mahal; Reshimbagh Ground; Dr Ambedkar College, Deekshabhoomi; Maharashtra Krida Mandal, Congress Nagar; Chhatrapati Krida Mandal, Nandanvan; Navbharat High School, Reshimbagh; DD Nagar Vidyalaya, Mahal; Samarth Vyayamshala, Pratap Nagar; Raje Raghuji Nagar Ground; Ishwar Deshmukh College of Physical Education, Krida Chowk; Shri Binzani Nagar Mahavidyalaya, Reshimbagh; Vivekanand Nagar Sports Complex; Tidke College; Ladies Club, Civil Lines; NMC Skating Rink, Surendra Nagar; VHA’s Hockey Ground, Amravati Road; Yashwant Stadium, Dhantoli; Gajanan Krida Mandal, Chakradhar Ground; Anand Nagar; NIT-YCMA; Kamgar Kalyan; Vaibhav Nagar, Dighori; Japanese Garden, Civil Lines; GS College; NMC Shala, Ramnagar; Vinus Academy, Reshimbagh; Railway Ground, Ajni; VCA Civil Lines; RTMNU Campus; NMC Tennis Ground; Gaadikhana; Police Headquarters; Mahatama Phule Sports Complex, Swavlambi Nagar; Ekatmata Krida Mandal; Eklavya Krida Mandal, Nandanvan; Saptrang Krida Mandal; Bharat Suryawanshi Krida Mandal