Manipal University: The Sports Chapter
Engineering is one of the most coveted streams in the world, and as such one’s life tends to seem like all work and no play. Manipal, for its part, has no dearth of stress-busting facilities for its student populace. And what better way to beat stress than with sports?
For all the sports fanatics out there, Manipal is one of those places you shall instantly fall in love with. The authorities of Manipal University make many provisions for a variety of sports, and multiple grounds for a few of them. Here is a comprehensive list of the sports facilities that are available to an MITian.
Located within 500 metres of the campus, this state-of-the-art sports complex, built at a cost of fifty crores, is one of the largest and best-equipped in the country.
The ground floor houses the gymnasium, with around two hundred pieces of equipment, and trainers on hand to help you make the most of them. Marena also has squash, basketball and table-tennis courts, a Futsal arena, a 200 metre jogging track, cricket nets with bowling machines, and various simulation games under its roof. The fact that, with the exception of the tennis courts, it’s all indoor in one air-conditioned building, means that neither the six-month long monsoon nor the summer heat need hamper your sporting activities.
The Table Tennis tables and the jogging track can be used for free, with the only requirement being a combo card or admission order, and non-marking shoes. The other facilities require membership, that costs 1,500 rupees per month. You can also opt to pay 12,000 rupees for a full year’s membership, which will end up being cheaper in the long run. Members also get access to locker rooms and saunas. Marena is open from 5:30 am to noon and from 4 pm to 9:30 pm, on all days except Sundays and university holidays.
Located right in front of the ninth and tenth block, it is divided into three separate grounds, one each for football, hockey, and cricket. An athletic track borders the cricket ground, with practice nets nestled in the corners. There are also courts for volleyball and throwball, and sports like shot-put and long jump also take place here.
While it is comparatively farther from the campus than the other grounds, End Point more than makes up for the distance with its well-maintained football and cricket grounds. This is where the inter-MU tournaments are held. End Point also has a beautiful park, and the stunning view makes it a good place to go to for a jog or a casual walk.
MIT Swimming Pool
At three hundred rupees for six months, this pool is a bargain you might not want to miss out on. The timings for boys and girls are different, although this gives you a maximum of forty-five minutes of pool-time a day. Its well-maintained and quite large, but tends to be crowded most of the time.
Located next to the MIT ground, the Recreation Centre is built for badminton, sporting two courts. This is also the place to go to for any queries regarding sporting events on campus. The land adjacent to this has now been converted to a synthetic tennis court. If the walk to Marena is too much for you, you can try out the gym opposite to the RC. While it cannot compare to Marena, you can save a little money opting for this instead.
Certain hostel blocks also have their own gyms and training rooms. For instance, the eighteenth block has a mini-gym within its ramparts. While it’s not going to give full fledged gymnasiums a run for their money, it is perfect for a rain-curtailed morning or evening. Almost every hostel has its own table tennis room as well. You can also find a basketball court opposite to the Department of Commerce (near the tenth block).
Manipal University has certainly not compromised when it comes to sporting facilities. There is room for improvement, and the authorities are doing their best to make sure that everything is top notch. The positives outweigh the negatives by quite a margin. College life may be worrisome and stressful, but Manipal has ensured that sports is one less thing you need to worry about.
Cover Image: Ujjwal Kumar