Staff Reporter

21 State teams participating

Only 11 teams participated in last nationals in DelhiZilla Parishad sanctions Rs. 5 lakhs for championshipChief Minister sanctions 6 indoor stadiums for Kadapa districtRegional sports school to be set up with outlay of Rs. 2.75 crores

KADAPA: The 51st National Under-19 Handball Championship for Boys and Girls took off on an enthusiastic note with an impressive march past by players and officials of 21 State teams, 'Bharatiyam' a dance ballet presented by about 1,100 students and dance recital for a patriotic song, "I am an Indian," in Kadapa on Friday.

As against 11 State teams that participated in the last nationals at Delhi, 21 State teams are taking part here, Minister for Lift Irrigation M. Mareppa said after inaugurating the championship. The Minister exhorted students to take up sports along with education.

Funds sanctioned

Kadapa ZP Chairman K. Suresh Babu said the Zilla Parishad had sanctioned Rs. 5 lakhs for the handball championship and allotted Rs. 4 lakhs for national volleyball tournament at Rajampet last year.

He said Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had sanctioned six indoor stadiums in the district. Each ZP high school was sanctioned Rs. 5,000 for purchase of sports materials.

The Government was giving a fillip to development of sports, Kadapa Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy said.

Mini-stadiums

Kadapa district would find a place on the national sports map on account of the championships, Collector G. Ashok Kumar said. A regional sports school was being set up with an outlay of Rs. 2.75 crores, besides mini-sports stadiums at Pulivendula, Jammalamadugu and Rajampet, he said.