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Minister for revival of traditional sports

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YOUNG MASTERS: Union Minister for Sports and Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar (second from right) with chess players at IGMC stadium in Vijayawada on Thursday. State Minister J.C. Diwakar Redy is also seen. PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR.
YOUNG MASTERS: Union Minister for Sports and Panchayat Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar (second from right) with chess players at IGMC stadium in Vijayawada on Thursday. State Minister J.C. Diwakar Redy is also seen. PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR.

Staff Reporter

Calls for efforts to create sports culture in rural areas; meets prominent sports personalities

Sports personalities interact with AiyarMinister urged to introduce physical education as a subject in school syllabus at high school level Physical Education Teachers' Association wants coaching camps to be set up in rural areas

VIJAYAWADA: Indigenous games like kabaddi and kho-kho are being neglected, as more and more youngsters are showing interest in western games and sports.

Traditional Indian games should be promoted, as they are as entertaining and healthy as western games, according to Union Minister for Panchayat Raj and Sports Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Mr. Aiyar, who was in Vijayawada on Thursday to assess the functioning of panchayat raj institutions in the district, took some time off his busy schedule to share his experience as sports Minister with the budding sports personalities.

"I was always last in sports but I do not know how I became a Sports Minister. I am making a sincere effort to learn many things from the sports fraternity," he said amidst peels of laughter.

The Minister said the country, of late, had witnessed a series of heartening performances by young sportsmen and women in shooting and archery. "We are also doing well in cricket with a series of victories."

He stressed the need for taking sports culture to villages and rural areas to identify the untapped talent. "Under the supervision of Sports Authority of India (SAI), 10,000 talented sportsmen and women are honing their skills, which is a minuscule percentage considering the population of our country," he felt.

He said that the existing sports policy was like throwing a net in a pond by which one would get only a few fish. "It is time we threw the net in an ocean to a get huge cache of fish," he added.

Memorandum presented

Later, award-winning sports personalities from Krishna district interacted with the Minister by showing their medals and certificates.

Physically challenged swimmer Tirumali Kumar, who was a member of Indian contingent to the Commonwealth Games, showed the medal and citation, much to the appreciation of the Minister.

Ch. Lenin, an international archer from the city, showed the medals he won representing India.

Young chess champions of the city, along with Grand Master Koneru Humpy's father K. Ashok, interacted with the Minister.

Andhra Pradesh Physical Education Teachers' Association presented a memorandum urging the Minister to introduce physical education as a subject in school syllabus at high school level for the overall development of children.

The association also demanded coaching camps by SAI coaches in the rural areas in order to tap raw talent from the rural areas.

State Panchayat Raj minister J.C.Diwakar Reddy, Eluru Member of Parliament Kavuri Sambhasiva Rao, Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association president and Vijayawada MP L. Rajagopal and others took art in the programme.


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