I have just returned from my first ever visit to the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi, and at first I thought, “How can I review it after only one session there? Hardly seems fair.”
And then I thought, “Hang on, I will happily write a review of a restaurant after only one meal, so same difference.”
I used the jogging track, running with one of my running group, as we try and get fit for the Mumbai half marathon.
I was seriously impressed at this clean, quiet, green oasis, right in the heart of the city. Ample safe parking. Blissfully quiet. After running on city roads, what a treat to run on a good track. Very clean, even the loos.
Slightly bored indifferent staff, but that is par for the course in India with any government/municipal initiative, always coupled with the obvious dread of perhaps having to speak in English with an old foreigner…as it is, this old foreigner can speak Hindi, so that was OK.
Got myself my day pass with only minimum explanation required that yes I am a foreigner, but yes I live here, and that yes I am PIO and…all OK in the end. They even knocked Rs2 off the price, since no-one had any change. Sweet.
As I was cooling off after my run, I was challenged by a security guard for not having said day pass. “Gave it in at the desk over there,” I huffed, bright red in the face.
He went and checked at the desk, and dismissively told me, “Thik hai.”
“Oh,” I asked him, “so you think I would tell you a lie?”
“No, of course not madam.”
“So why didn’t you believe me. Do I look like a liar?”
“No madam, of course not”, and he saluted, so that was that.
Very impressed by what I saw. It was pretty empty at 3 when we started running, but as the afternoon wore on, and I guess schools finished, lots of children were rolling up, mainly for tennis practice it would seem
I can envisage more runs here, and a post run coffee in the Barista outlet.
Am seriously, unequivocally delighted that my tax rupees have been so well spent.
Well-tended lawns and flower beds, and gardeners hard at work this afternoon.
Brilliant running track.
Intriguing sculpture (below). Guess the message is to get off that couch and into your sports gear. Could’ve been our logo for our “Couch – 6km” programme last year.
A slightly puzzling sign (below).
Only sad note – rubbish “hidden” behind a wall, right next to ticket booth, and a “Swachh Bharat” poster. No litter otherwise in the complex, which was such a treat, so this was unnecessary.
Pick it up, fellas, don’t chuck it underneath the hoardings, behind a wall.