JRD Tata Sports Complex, where the athletics meet for veterans will be held
The elderly in and around Jamshedpur are raring to blaze the tracks at an inaugural athletics meet for veterans at JRD Tata Sports Complex on Wednesday.
The event, organised by the Jamshedpur Veteran Sports Club (JVSC), is being organised to mark Gandhi Jayanti and International Day of Older Persons.
For men, the events have been divided on the basis of age groups — 40-50, 50-60, 60-70 and over 70 years. While those in 40-50 years’ category will show their prowess at 800-metre race, shot put and long jump, participants of the 50-60 group will take part in 400-metre run and walk and long jump.
Men in the 60-70 age group can prove their mettle in 200 metres run and walk and shot put and those over 70 years will run and walk for 200 metres besides trying hand ball.
As for women, the organisers have earmarked two categories — 40-50 and 50-60 years. While participants in the former group can take part in the 200-metre run and walk and shot put, for older women, there will be 50-metre needle-thread race and Ping-Pong ball throw.
A participant can contest in any one event earmarked for each group.
The organising outfit has so far received 70 entries in both men’s and women’s categories. Among the persons already registered are six oldies well over 70 years of age.
Gopal Singh (74) travelled all the way from Gamharia to register his name.
“I am a morning walker and a fitness fanatic. I am competing in the 200-metre run and walk,” he said, adding that he read about the event in a newspaper. Seventy-two-year-old N.C. Deb is equally excited. “I became very excited when I came to know about the athletics meet. It’s a great initiative for veterans like us.”
If the men are pulling up their socks for the event, women are equally busy getting ready. Homemaker Aarti Singh (51) said she had been walking an extra mile every day to enhance her fitness to excel at the 50-metre needle and thread race. “I am covering extra distance during morning walk,” said the Agrico resident.
JVSC functionary Avinash Kumar said they expected more entries on Tuesday evening and hoped heavy downpour would not pour water on the grand plans of the veterans.
“We have our fingers crossed. It has been raining continuously in Jamshedpur. We hope it doesn’t play spoilsport,” Kumar, a former Bihar Ranji skipper, said.