Visakhapatnam: Rooftop sports arenas are emerging as a new trend in Vizag, on the lines of metros like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad where space is less.
The state’s first such sports facility was recently developed by a group of three youngsters as part of their attempt to effect a lifestyle change in the port city.
The field is created with artificial grass, non-abrasive fibres and rubber, on the terrace of a high-rise commercial building.
Partner Manju Datta said, “We created a 15x35 square metre football turf on a terrace. It is getting a good response from the public as also from the coaches. Those interested can come and play the game in their free time. Coaches take training classes for budding players.”
Licensed coach of the All India Football Federation, Yerramsetti Naresh, gives training to children and youths at the arena. “This is a new opportunity that helps people like me to earn some money with our skills in sports, after the Covid phase,” he said.
Naresh takes classes for two batches a day, four days a week. He pays a rent of Rs 1,200 for a one-hour slot. “A team can pool money to book the slot. It comes to Rs 100 per hour for each player, which is cheaper than the price for a litre of petrol,” Naresh said.
“Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy is requested to plan such sporting arenas in the city on suitable building terraces to help those who cannot afford to pay a huge fee for training in the private arenas,” Naresh told Deccan Chronicle.
The sports arena can also be used as multipurpose venues with different sporting activities including yoga. Football, handball, table tennis etc are best-suited, he said.
An entrepreneur said, “We are also starting one along the Beach Road for sea view that will tap into this potential.”