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Sports Landmarks of Ludhiana
Ludhiana has emerged to be the sports capital of Punjab, as a record number of international sports infrastructures have come up in the recent years. It had the privilege of hosting 31st National Games in the year 2001, in the newly renovated Guru Nanak Stadium. This Guru Nanak Sports Complex has ultra modern facilities for games of Athletics, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Gymnastics, Badminton, Table Tennis and other indoor games. The following is the list of infrastructure available at Ludhiana District:
Guru Nanak Stadium
It has been built at a cost of approx. Rs.15.4 crore. It is flood lit and has a capacity for 1500 spectators. There is a provision of 8 lane synthetic track with a two lane warming up track. The track conforms to international standards for conduct of any national or international meet. It has a well-maintained football ground which hosts the Annual National Football League (NFL) matches.
Basketball Indoor Hall
There is an exclusive hall for the game of Basketball in Guru Nanak Sports Complex, created at a cost of Rs.120.00 Lacs by the Sports Department. A provision of synthetic surface has also been made in the hall. Two additional outdoor Basketball courts are also available. All the three grounds are floodlit.
The multipurpose indoor hall of Guru Nanak Sports Complex here was built for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, judo, wrestling and handball matches. Many big tournaments have been held in this hall in the past decade. In March 1994, the 16th Federation Cup Volleyball Tournament was played here. This hall was also the venue of the 48th Senior National Basketball Championship that was held in January 1998. Besides, many other state meets have been conducted in this hall.
The roof of the hall has been made dome type. The spectator’s gallery has a Kota stone base. Floodlights have also been installed in the hall. As per recommendations of the VFI and the HBFI, Palquet flooring has been laid in the hall. Changing rooms and lavatories for participants have been created on the rear side of the hall. The arrangement can be altered to make space for two more events to be conducted simultaneously. Space for offices of federations and referees, dining room and reception room has also been created.
The Multipurpose hall have three indoor volleyball courts and one handball court. Two other courts will be used for preliminary volleyball matches, while the semi-finals and the final will be played on the center court.
Cycling Velodrome - PAU
Cycling Velodrome project was created in 1989 by Punjab Agriculture University at a cost of about Rs.1.50 crore. A pavilion block was added in the year 2001. This project too, conforms to the international standards.
Astroturf Hockey Ground- PAU
This project too was created by Punjab Sports Department in the year 1999 at a cost of about 400 crore. The PAU has provided land and contributed more than Rs.55.00 lacs. An agreement has been signed between Punjab Govt., Sports Department and the PAU that the property rights would be with the PAU and the running control would be with Sports Department and both would be jointly responsible for its maintenance. Besides this, the Sports Department has created four block level stadium, one each at Kila Raipur, Gujarwal, Ghugrali Rajputan and Bhaini Sahib. There are 39 Coaches posted in various games at District Headquarter, Sub Division and village level who impart training free of cost to young boys and girls.
Rural Olympics Sports - Kila Raipur
In India the Athens of Rural Olympic Sports is village Killa Raipur 20 Km from Ludhiana in Punjab. It was in 1933. Philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal visualised an annual recreational meet where farmers from areas surrounding Kila Raipur could get together and test their corporal endurance. The idea gave birth to Kila Raipur Sports, the undisputed “Rural Olympics” In February each year, Ludhiana becomes the destination fro hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners. Many of them have never seen bullock carts or camels running for coveted cash prizes in speed races. They come to Kila Raipur to see the special breed of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in highly professional events.
Besides, there are events, which mark “excellence in human corporal endurance”. Ruralites come here, carrying with them their “loaded rucksacks”, huge stones, “munglis” and what not. They display their velour, and their expertise before a packed stadium in between major events. Nihang Sikhs organise displays of horse racing, tent pegging and even “Gatka”. It is here that Punjabi folklore and culture is on full display. At the end of each day's events, the spectators do not walk back home. Rather they stay on. They wait for the cultural feast, which follows. Every evening, top-notch folk singers, Bhangra and Gidha Players are in attendance. The programme continues well past midnight on all three day of the festival.
For those who are for recognized and Olympic sports, the Festival offers a lot. One can watch the best hockey players, both men and women, during the festival. Then it is Kabaddi & Tug of war, which have instant popularity and acceptability here. The competitions are in different age groups, both for men and women. Cycling is another event, which gets overwhelming response here.
Today, the Kila Raipur stadium can accommodate more than 50,000 spectators at a time. Attached to the stadium is a hostel. A multi-gym and two grassy hockey fields add to the congenial and healthy environs of the entire sports complex.
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