The ‘Sunshine’ Corner is arranged on demand, good quality food is plentiful, and there is a pleasant atmosphere for training: Life has become easier for wrestlers at the SAI Center in Sonepat.
Until recently wrestlers were forced to train inside the hall, where the temperature could rise to 39 degrees due to an ineffective air-conditioner, exposing the athletes to injury and health risks.
The reason for this was that the regular training hall was under renovation and the wrestlers were practicing in the multipurpose hall, whose height of 12.5 meters made the air-conditioner ineffective.
Sports Authority of India After the PTI highlighted the plight of the wrestlers in a report, SAI Director General Sandeep Pradhan himself visited the Center. The DG directed the concerned people to make all necessary arrangements.
Immediately, the wrestlers were moved to Sakshi Malik Hall, which was being used for strength and conditioning and sports science purposes.
“Mr. DG listened to our problems and within a few hours the problem was solved. Wrestlers and coaches now train in a better place, ”said one coach.
“The quality of food is very good now and everything has been made available to us. A new juice machine has been set up and we get everything on time and beyond the meal hours, ”Koch added.
“Now when a meal is served the mess manager, dietitian and coach are always present. Supervision is always there, ”said another coach.
Spice dash, but is it good?
At the request of the wrestlers, a ‘Tadka Corner’ has been arranged in the mess, where desi ghee is available for masala (addition of herbs and spices to the food).
But is spice with desi ghee recommended for athletes?
A physical trainer attached to the camp said, “When ghee is boiled at 100 degrees, it turns into trans fat. When consumed, it adds body fat that may not be good for athletes. But hormonal secretion is necessary to satisfy the mind and it happens when you eat the food of your choice.
“Wrestlers are already training hard, so they can manage the little fat that enters their body.”
One wrestler said, “We have to maintain the weight so that when a competition is approaching we get rid of everything unnecessary on our plates.”
Progress in innovation
Lalita Sharma, executive director of the center, said the renovation work was likely to be completed in a week.
“Renovation work at Sushil Kumar-Yogeshwar Dutt Hall will be completed soon. The wrestlers are already training at Sakshi Malik Hall, they can continue to use it, ”said Lalita, who herself was a national level badminton player.
“We have about 50 wrestlers affiliated with the National Center of Excellence so that both halls can be used together.”
New infrastructure at the SAI center
Lalita also informed that by the end of this year, they will have a high performance lab for the sport of archery. It will cost around Rs 5 crore.
“We will have an indoor range where video analysis of archers’ performances can be done. It will help them get better. Olympic training centers in the USA, Switzerland and Korea have such categories. SAI strives to provide the best infrastructure for athletes, ”she said.
“Also, a new synthetic hockey turf has been laid for the players and it will soon be possible to hold a camp for junior national players at our center.
“We are also developing a 500-capacity dining hall.”