Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Grass root development of sports is only possible if it is taken to rural areas said the former athlete, Ashwini Nachappa, while unveiling logo of the ‘Thums Up Rural Games’ here on Wednesday.

The Arjuna Awardee said that sports has largely been city-centric in India, and there was virtually nothing for children in rural centres.

“There is lot of young talent waiting to be groomed in villages. It needs a special commitment to spread the awareness of sports in rural India,” said Ashwini who welcomed the initiative of Coca Cola in conducting the Karnataka Rural Games from September 1.

“This step deserves all support and I hope it won’t remain an on and off affair and the organisers make sustained effort to conduct it on a regular basis,” said Ashwini.

She also called re-vamping educational system in line with the new sports policy as enunciated by the Union Sports Ministry and stressed the need for weightage to sports in curriculum.

Deepak Jolly of Coca Cola said that his company plans to spend Rs.15 lakh in organising the meet which would have volleyball, tennikoit, 100m run and kabaddi as main events. The Rural Games will be conducted in six Districts — Gadag, Belgaum, Shimoga, Bellary, Tumkur and Ramnagaram. The Games’ finals will be held at Ramnagaram on September 20.

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