Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mumbai’s School Sports Day Ground

Everyone who went to school in South Mumbai will definitely remember coming here for their school’s sports day. I am talking about the University Ground officially called the University Sports Pavilion which is located between the Wankhede stadium and the Hindi Vidya Bhavan School on ‘F’ Road. If you commute by the Western Railway you will see this ground just before you reach Churchgate station after you have passed the Marine Lines flyover.

I had gone there today (after many many years) to treat a stray dog who lives there. He saw us and promptly ran into the ground. Being there brought back memories of my school days and I remember spending one day every year out here, cheering class-mates who were taking part in different sports activities an running around on the wooden bleachers carefully avoiding the bigger gaps which had been caused because of the broken bleachers.

The ground is huge and has an athletics track around it. It has the old wooden bleacher seating for spectators’ on one side of the ground. The ground has a nice approach road as one has to walk through a tree-lined path for one length of the ground to get to the spectator stand. The canteen is located behind the stands. The watchman told me that it is busiest in December with Sports Day’s of various schools being held here and is also given out for college and corporate sports events. It is naturally not used during the monsoon.

Today, the stadium needs desperate attention as most of the bleachers were broken in one whole section on the stand. I remember reading reports in the press that a business house was going to sponsor the renovation of the stadium. I just hope that they keep the bleachers and not replace them with concrete seating.

We left the place after leaving medicine for the dog with the watchman in a most appropriate container found lying around. A broken tennis ball!!

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