Kalimpong, Dec. 30: A “communication gap” is proving to be costly for the 110-odd trainees at the ongoing winter football camp organised by Kalimpong Veterans Recreation Club (KVRC) at Mela Ground here.
The young footballers are being compelled to use only half of the ground after Kalimpong Sports Association (KSA), which is in-charge of it, allowed the staging of a commercial fair on the other half. The camp began on December 14, almost simultaneously with the fair.
“We are holding the camp to encourage local talent. However, since the organisers of the mela have occupied the major portion of the ground, we have not been able to train our boys properly. It will be of help if the authorities do not grant permission to stage non-sporting activities (like the fair), when the ground is being used for games,” said Urgen Lama, the chief coach of the camp.
However, KSA said the present situation could have been avoided, had there been a communication between them and the KVRC. “I, being a former footballer, am all for promoting sports. However, nobody informed us about the camp when we conveyed to the subdivisional officer (SDO), P. T. Sherpa, that the ground was not being used for sporting activities,” said Sonam Bhutia, the secretary.
Bhutia said he would write to people concerned next time, urging them not to recommend the use of the ground for non-sporting activities. “KVRC should have booked the ground in advance,” he said.
The KSA secretary explained that the organisation did not earn any revenue from staging fairs on the ground. “Our brief is limited to certifying that the ground is not being used for sporting activities when the SDO’s office seeks our advice before allotting it for various work.”
According to the Kalimpong SDO, the permission of his office was required to use the ground. He, however, said that the government did not earn any revenue from it. “The KVRC members had met me, and according to their requests, I allowed only one half of the ground for the mela,” he added.