The State government is planning to spend Rs. 25 crore towards conducting rural sports meets throughout the State, according to Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Development R.B. Udayakumar.

The Minister was inaugurating the rural sports meet at Vangal Kuppuchipalayam near here on Friday. Mr. Udayakumar said the State government was intent on increasing participation of sportspersons from Tamil Nadu in international sports meet. To identify and encourage the talent pool, the rural sports meets were being conducted during the Pongal season all over the State, he added.

As per the desire of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Sport Development Authority of Tamil Nadu was sponsoring the sports meets in all 12,524 village panchayats in the State. Men and women aged less than 30 could participate in the track and field events, volleyball, and kabaddi games while football matches would be arranged for men alone.

Each panchayat had been sanctioned Rs. 20,000 to organise the events and the State government had been planning to spend Rs. 25 crore in all for conducting the events throughout Tamil Nadu before the end of February.

Moreover, the winners in all events would be given medals and merit certificates as recognition of their ranking in the events, Mr. Udayakumar added.