Members: Aniruddha Kumar (Convenor), Arshu John, Sushant Singh (Co-Convenor), Jitendra Dukiya, Archana Negi, Shweta Kabra, Pratyush Pandey, Ankit Sinha, Tia Majumdar, Anurag Goswami, Bhavninder Singh Sidhu, Utsav Bhagat.
The Sports Committee occupied centre stage for a number of reasons over the course of its elected period, resulting in a myriad of happenings that affected and kept the campus occupied.
- Procuring of Equipment and Gym Issues: ‘Gym nahi khul sakta, warden se baat karo’ was the standard response most of us received when we wished to access the gym. The Sports Committee, along with the EC managed to sort that out by keeping it open till 1 AM. Equipment, however, is a totally different issue altogether. The Sports Committee confirms that the last time equipment was procured was in September 2013, almost two years ago. In the meantime, we’ve lost basketballs, footballs, badminton rackets, shuttlecocks and cricket balls among other stuff. Things have reached such a point that footballs disappear routinely and students have had to purchase and bring their own equipment with no aid from the university. The Sports Committee believes that the administration is non co-operative and has been stalling the issue. It is also believed that there has been a lot of hassles within the Sports Committee with certain members slacking off or not doing their assigned duties on time, thus leading to delays. An apathetic administration is one thing, but members not doing their job? Guys, time to buck up. We’d really like to play without checking whether or not we have the necessary items required or not.
The Sports Committee has consistently sent out mails asking people for a list of gym equipment they would like. Requests for gym trainers in both the gyms, a maintenance agreement with an external agency to keep the gym in working order, more lights on the court and a relaying of the basketball court are also in the pipeline, all subject to the approval of the Finance Committee and other interested bodies that put the red tape in the Indian bureaucracy to shame.
- Hafta Vasool: The Sports Committee, in association with the Cultural Committee, organised Hafta Vasool, considered to be our college’s celebration of diverse sports and events in a week of fun and games. Despite the best of efforts of those involved, the prevailing view is that the turnout was disappointing.
- Sweatshirts: Previously a domain of the Student Welfare Committee, the Sports Committee chose to pursue the procuration of sweatshirts for the college this time. Jury is still out on the success of that endeavour.
- Fests: The College attended the sports festival at NLIU, Bhopal, making our customary appearance at Virudhaka, and followed it up with an appearance at Jindal the next semester. Costs and payment lead to comical situations where some people ended up richer than they should have and others were left high and dry. We still don’t know if Shreya has gotten her money back or not.
- Balls to Justice: A few members of the Sports Committee took the initiative to organise the Annual inter-batch football tournament, aptly named ‘Balls to Justice’. The current third years, then second years would scream themselves hoarse about how that was exactly what happened to them in this tournament. Botched rules, inconsistent decision making, and general chaos in the organisational aspect of the tournament resulted in a final that was never played. A disappointing first for an event that is eagerly awaited by the sporting community of the college, if not everyone.
- Inter Batch Cricket: The current third years seemed to be involved in almost every sporting controversy that arose over the last year. To shed some light (or the lack of it – pun intended), the then second years refused to play citing bad light. Communication gaps and unilateral decision making within the sports committee resulted in a protest, with emails containing the words, ‘4th Years batting chor’ sent out en masse by the second years at the time. It was great to see partition by the ‘bhaiyas’ of our campus, and kudos to the Sports Committee for giving them a chance as well.
- Inter Batch Volleyball: In the opinion of some, volleyball can be quite boring. What followed, however, was definitely not. Female participation in sports on campus has always been a talking point, and the issue came to the forefront during the inter-batch volleyball tournament. A question of what the rules stated and the consequent changes made by the organisers ended up encompassing a much wider, principled debate about the opportunities available to girls on campus. It all started with a change in rules that wasn’t communicated to everyone. From two girls and two boys, it was changed to ‘a minimum of one girl’ in the middle of the tournament. There seemed to be no opposition on the first day, as the second option was widely held to be an exception to the two-girl rule that had been intimated. The same, however, continued on the next day, and that’s when objections were raised. Arguments in committee meetings ranged from meritocracy, to promoting competition on one hand and the demand for more opportunities to girls to play sports on campus, some who might be dissuaded for whatever reasons, ranging from the fast paced and at times physical nature of games to the general discomfort that one might feel when coming downstairs to play amongst a group of strangers. Not all members of the Sports Committee were aligned, with fissures within the committee as well, some which still persist. A view has been put forth by a certain few that not all batches have female players and at times it becomes a matter of forcing people to play and this results in a denial of opportunities to boys who are eager to play. The other side of the coin is, of course, that sports is a male-dominated sphere and female participation must be actively encouraged in a manner that is conducive and not patronising. The episode did end with an apology of sorts from the Sports Committee.
- Martial Arts: An interesting move by the Sports Committee is to bring self-defence classes to campus. Let us see how that goes.
A member of the committee has also spoken up about how the sports culture on campus has changed during his time here. He believes that people spend more time asking questions and pointing fingers, rather than taking initiative and involving themselves in the organisation of activities. Furthermore, he also goes on to say that sports is no longer something that is done for fun, but has become politicised.