Pioneering Telangana sports schools to focus on Olympic disciplines

By: V. Geetanath

They have conquered Mt. Everest and, most recently, Mt. Kilimanjaro, providing powerful inspiration to their peers at the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS), which runs 267 schools, colleges and hostels for disadvantaged students in the state.

Now, the Rio Olympics have spurred the TSWREIS’ administrators to encourage students to take to up sports seriously, especially Olympic disciplines where there is intense competition amongst countries and India’s performance needs improvement. While there are quite a few sports amenities in the TSWREIS hostels dotting Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has greenlighted the construction of an exclusive sports complex on a four-acre site close to the Golconda tombs, near the campus of the Shaikpet hostel.

With an estimated initial cost of Rs. 2 crore, the sports complex will have a world class gymnasium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, besides tennis, badminton, volleyball courts and other facilities. It will also have a dormitory, dining hall and staff quarters.

“We are planning to accommodate 400 students at one go at the proposed new sports campus. This is meant to train our students in Olympic sports. We will appoint the best of coaches in each discipline and it will be built on the lines of the Government Sports School in Hakimpet,” said TSWREIS Secretary Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar.

Dr. Kumar, who is credited with the holistic transformation of the social welfare hostels, making admission to them highly sought after, was also behind the victorious ascent of Mt. Everest by Malavath Poorna and S. Anand two years ago.

Last month, Ms. Poorna — the youngest woman to reach the highest peak in the world at the age of 13 in 2014 — was part of a 21 member student team, including those from the TSWREIS, which conquered Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Initially, the society considered making use of the sports facilities at Hakimpet since it had ready infrastructure but “commuting is an issue and, moreover, our Shaikpet school nearby provides us with a better ecosystem,” pointed out Dr. Kumar, an IPS officer. “Our sports school will be ready next year.”

“We are not just focused on engineering or medicine, we are also encouraging our children to go for Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, and languages like Russian and Chinese,” he added.

Source: The Hindu

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