These past few years in Delhi University, the off-campus colleges have fast emerged as the leaders in sports. Students admitted under the sports quota often prefer these colleges for the support they get there, and it is these institutions that are producing the sports people representing the country and university in international events like Asian Games and University Summer Olympics.

Anil Kumar Kalkal, director of the Delhi University Sports Council, explained that centralised trials for admissions, started in 2016, allowed the students to keep their options open on where they wanted to study. “Earlier, they competed in the trials in North Campus colleges, but found it impossible to reach the off-campus institutions the same day for the trials there,” said Kalkal. “That is why fewer students were admitted under the sports quota in these colleges. The centralised system has allowed the students to attend just one trial and get admitted to any college of their choice.”

In any case, reasoned Pawan Dabas, physical education teacher at Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, studying outside of North Campus or South Campus isn’t an ignominy any more. He said that the off-campus colleges were no longer disadvantaged because the facilities in all DU colleges had improved after NIRF and NAAC rankings began taking into account both academic and infrastructural facilities.

“We have better infrastructure and provide the students facilities of international standards,” claimed Anju Luthra, associate professor at Jesus and Mary College in Chanakyapuri. “We also try to make better resources available to them, including international coaching.” Such care and support are what draws sports people to these institutions.

Manoj Rathi, physical education teacher at Motilal Nehru evening and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, also observed that good sports person were choosing outer colleges “because they feel they will have less academic pressure in these institutions”. He said, “Many students choose these colleges so that they can focus on their sport.” An example is his student, Shourya Pratap Rathee, a third year student in DCAC. The taekwondo champion from Rohtak, Haryana, said “I was a science student in Class XII, but since I wanted to give more time to my sport, I opted for the BA Programme.” His decision is paying off and he will represent DU in the World University Games in Italy in July.