CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday made a slew of announcements for youth welfare and sports development, including establishing a mega sports city near Chennai. Given the popularity of sports in north Chennai, a modern sports complex would be built with state-of-the-art facilities for volleyball, badminton, basketball, boxing, kabaddi and other indoor games, besides a modern gymnasium at Rs 10 crore.
Making a suo motu statement in the assembly under Rule 110, the chief minister said the state government had been extending incentives up to Rs 3 crore to encourage sportsmen and women of Tamil Nadu win medals at international events. “In order to ensure that Tamil Nadu athletes win international sports, including Olympics and championships, the state government is taking all possible steps to establish a mega sports city with world-class sports facilities. This will enable the players from the state to get training on a par with international standards and win,” the chief minister said. The government will set up Olympic Academies in each of the four zones in the state to win medals at international events.
The plan is to provide training in sports and infrastructure across the state. The chief minister said small stadiums would be built in all 234 assembly constituencies at a cost of Rs 3 crore each to pave the way for the youth from poor and middle-income groups in rural and urban areas to get the benefits. An ambitious ‘Olympic Gold Quest’ programme will be unveiled at a cost of Rs 25 crore to support athletes.
Down south, the state government would build a massive Jallikattu arena in Alanganallur, which has been drawing visitors from abroad annually. “The government has planned to encourage Silambam, one of the martial arts of India. The government extended the 3% sports quota in recruitment to government jobs for
Silambam performers. A government order has been issued,” Stalin said. Efforts are on to conduct international sports events in the state and improve sports-based economy. Action has been taken to revive ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament (which last took place in 2017) and Beach Olympics in the state capital.