Sports get a boost at IIT Kharagpur

Coach of Leander Paes to train sports enthusiasts at the esteemed Institute

IIT Kharagpur has taken a giant step towards promotion of sports activities among its students. The Institute has allocated an amount of Rs. 10 crore for upgrading and renovating sports activities to host the Inter IIT 2019. This is in addition to the annual sports budget of Rs 1.5 crore allocated by the Institute.

IIT Kharagpur will be building two synthetic courts each for tennis, basketball and volleyball, one synthetic athletic track, an indoor stadium with a food court. In addition to the centralized indoor facilities, the Institute already has a stadium for athletics, ground for cricket and soccer, several outdoor courts for tennis, basketball and volleyball and a swimming pool. 
“The enhanced focus in sports activities would strengthen the wellness initiatives as well. Sports tend to inculcate qualities like resonance, leadership, discipline, decision-making, facing challenges etc. We have observed that students who enrol for NSO Sports, Inter-IIT and Inter-Hall Sports General Championships at IIT Kharagpur, exhibit these qualities at a deep level and are much more resistant to negative thought process,” said Prof. William Mohanty, President of Technology Students’ Gymkhana, the nerve centre of students’ activities at IIT Kharagpur.  
Among the others, Tennis has recently received a major thrust with US-based alumnus and entrepreneur Vinod Gupta facilitating training program and sports kit upgradation. He has roped in US-based Tennis professional T J Hyman, erstwhile coach of ace Tennis player Leander Paes, to start a training program for Tennis enthusiasts at IIT Kharagpur. Hyman has earlier coached in the Britannia Amritraj Tennis program where Paes trained under him. He will be assisted by Warren Rhomfeld from the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. 
“I love tennis as a game and exercise. I want IITKgp team to be the best that’s why I have asked T J Hyman, coach of Leander Paes to train IIT Kgp team. He is one of the finest Tennis coaches. There are endless opportunities to give back as an alum and this time sports is on my agenda to promote wellness among the students,” said Vinod Gupta who funded the management and law schools at IIT Kharagpur.
The Institute also has an in-house coach. More than 200 IIT students enroll for Tennis training each year. An Annual Tennis Camp is also conducted for campus children. The Tennis club at IIT Kharagpur, as an affiliate of Bengal Tennis Association, has also been organizing Kharagpur Open’ Tennis championship as an annual event and this attracts tennis talents from across the state of West Bengal and from other states as well. 
“We won the Inter-District Tennis League BTA Championship, held annually at Kolkata, for the last two consecutive years, and Gold at the last Inter-IIT Staff Tennis Tournament, and our students were the semi-finalist at the Inter-IIT Students Tennis Tournament. We are hopeful for the upcoming tournament in December at IIT Madras,” said Prof. Rajendra Singh, captain of the Staff Tennis team at IIT Kharagpur who is coordinating the training program along with Dr. R. Prabhakaran, Sports Officer at IIT Kharagpur.
The 2017 Inter-IIT Sports Meet for students and staff is scheduled in December in Chennai. 23 IITs will be participating in the event in 13 categories. Preparation and practice for the annual meet are in full swing now.