Indian-origin volunteers for Team India

Athletes in London get waterfront apartments,cycles to explore Village

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | Published: July 24, 2012 2:06:39 am

While the first batch of the Indian contingent — boxers,archers and tennis players — has arrived at the Games Village in London,the “India and Asia” wing of the dining section is yet to open. So,there is no dal-roti for now,but no complaints either.

“We are happy with the accommodation. We have got waterfront apartments called Titan,” said Brigadier P K Muralidharan Raja,India’s deputy chef-de-mission. “We have also been given seven volunteers who are of Indian origin. This has been of great help to the athletes,” he added.

“They have made comfort top priority,taking care of even the small details. The beds are comfortable,the rooms are very clean with wi-fi connection. Although four of us share a bathroom,it is cleaned even before we wake up,” said Hari Shankar Verma,the boxing squad’s physiotherapist. “Even Delhi,which was praised during the Commonwealth Games,did not have such facilities.”

The team members have been given bicycles to explore the village. “It has a university feel to it. I use the cycle to roam around the village and to go to the training area,” said boxer Devendro Singh. “The boxing hall is not far from Titan,our residence,but the dining section is. So once the India wing opens up,the cycle will truly come in handy,” he added.

His fellow boxer,Shiva Thapa,said that after the day’s training session ends,he goes to the post office to mail postcards home. “We also spend a lot of time interacting with athletes from other disciplines and countries. The other day,I saw a saloon at the Village,so I decided to have a haircut,” he said,adding that the video games arcade too is a big hit.

“We usually hang out at the Games arcade. We’ve tried everything from chess to pool. The boys usually play football,” said archery coach Poornima Mahto. “The first three days were really fun. We sat on the double decker buses — the ride was fantastic,especially when the bus goes over the bridge,” she added.

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