Chitradurga: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) executive director L.S. Ranavat said that the Centre has decided to earmark Rs. 20,000 crore for the development of sports in the country under the Panchayat Yuva Khel aur Krida Abhiyan (PYKKA).
Speaking at the valedictory function of the II National-level PYKKA games here on Sunday, Mr. Ranavat said that the scheme, which was launched last year, aimed to promote sports in rural areas in order to produce a new crop of sportspersons. Elaborating on the scheme, he said that the funds would be used to enable gram panchayats build infrastructure such as stadia. He said that bodies such as SAI would impart good training to the sportspersons.
To the district administration’s demand to open a SAI training centre at Chitradurga, Mr. Ranavat urged Deputy Commissioner Amlan Adiya Biswas to send a proposal for consideration.
Chief guest and former cricket player Dodda Ganesh called for all sports disciplines and players to be treated equally. He also said it was unfortunate that several games were falling out of authorities’ favour and were consequently losing popularity.
Mr. Ganesh urged sportspersons to keep the honour, glory and pride of the nation flying high.
Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Gulihatti D. Shekhar commended the efforts of Mr. Biswas in organising the event and arranging all the facilities in a span of two weeks. He also said the Government had launched several schemes to develop sports in the district.
The games saw players representing 18 States taking part in the hockey, handball and judo championships.
Following the distribution of awards, children from schools and local dance troupes put up a cultural show. A breathtaking fire show won the appreciation of the spectators and the meet participants.