Friday, May 4, 2012

Coimbatore set for an adventurous summer

A host of special summer camps get ready to welcome children and youngsters this season, as they find more exciting ways to unwind after the exams

As exams come to an end and summer vacations get underway, the most common handbill that slips through your door would be on a variety of summer camps taking place in and around the city.

Many gyms, clubs and private academies vie against each other in a bid to offer more innovative and adventurous activities to make the summer month a lot more memorable for the youngsters. In addition to the traditional sports camps, new adventure sports are being introduced to improve the fitness levels of youngsters and older people alike. Physically active youngsters are taking to martial arts like kick-boxing and adventure activities like rock climbing to keep themselves busy this summer, while others use this time to get themselves with the basics of sports, art and craft, or theatre. "We have special 15-day summer camps for swimming, badminton, tennis, squash, aerobics, yoga, kick-boxing and even art and craft. There has been a steady increase in registrations for swimming and sports like tennis and badminton, as school-going youngsters are keen to use the summer break to either pick up a new sport, or hone their fitness levels," says Venkatesh, manager of a popular fitness centre in the city.

"Registrations for the summer camp have flown in thick and fast, and we have had over 500 children and youngsters enrolling themselves for the swimming coaching, which ends this month," he adds.

With martial arts also gaining in popularity, many fitness clubs and institutes in the city are now introducing crash courses to help people grasp the basic self-defence techniques. While there a huge number of centres teaching martial arts such as judo, taekwondo, karate and the likes, there are others who also teach the most ancient martial art forms, which have got participants from various walks of life.

"There have been more youngsters coming in to learn kick-boxing, as it is an excellent self-defense technique and also hones their reflexes. Youngsters also enroll themselves in these sessions to meet more like-minded people their age, apart from sparring with them, which helps improve their concentration levels as well," reveals Benedict John, director of another such health and wellness centre in the city.

"We hit the city much before treadmills, cross-trainers and exercycles became a familiar term in every household. With increasing awareness levels through cinema and television, more youngsters want that perfect look today," he adds excitedly. For those more inclined towards traditional martial arts, there is an academy offering the age-old Kerala martial art form of Kalaripayattu, which has participants from different walks of life.

"We have had over 100 registrations to learn Kalaripayattu, which combines the basics of many prominent martial arts like karate, judo, taekwondo and many others. Our youngest practitioner is a six year old kid, and we also have a 50 -year-old member who is a regular practitioner," says VC Sathish Sreedhar, co-trainer and director of a martial arts academy, which is situated in Kavundampalayam.

"Our 10-day crash course during the end of May will help those interested learn the basics and the art of Kalaripayattu. Interestingly, we also have two police personnel who are also regular practitioners of the martial art," he says exultantly.

So, as summer approaches, it looks like both the kids and adults in Coimbatore are looking forward to some adrenaline pumping adventure that will do more than just "provide a break"!

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