The Tamil Nadu Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udhayanidhi Stalin outlined his plans to make the State a model for sports in the country, including improving the grassroots structure, hosting Khelo India Games, and having a Centre for Sports Science, among other things.
Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Udhayanidhi confirmed the Asian Champions men’s hockey tournament will be held in Chennai in August this year. “The Hockey India representatives saw the SDAT-Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium and asked us for a few things. We will get things ready on time,” he said.
Udhayanidhi said three Centres for Sports Science will be opened soon— in Madurai, Nilgiris and Chennai. “Now, we have signed an MOU with Sri Ramachandra Centre of Sports Science to use the facilities for our sportspersons,” he revealed.
The amount for Elite Scheme for sportspersons has been increased from Rs. 25 lakhs per year to Rs. 30 lakhs, said Udhayanidhi, who was flanked by TN’s Sports Secretary Atulya Misra and Member Secretary of Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu J. Meghanatha Reddy.
Five Stadiums in Chennai—Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Periamet, Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium and Velachery Aquatic Complex will be renovated for Rs. 25 crores, said Udhayanidhi. “We will also refurbish the sports hostels in Tamil Nadu and other infrastructure-related things for Rs. 10 crores,” he added.
The Minister said, “We have identified the land for the boxing academy in Gopalapuram and we are in the process of calling for tender to construct a multi-sports complex in North Chennai.”
Meghanatha Reddy highlighted the quickness of funds to sportspersons in the Elite Scheme. “Olympic fencer Bhavani Devi wanted an amount for training in France. Within a week, we deposited Rs. 15 lahks (60 per cent advance) in her account,” he said.
‘Tamil Nadu Champions Foundation’, a public-private partnership to support young sportspersons, will have former India cricketer and Chennai Super Kings captain M. S. Dhoni as its brand ambassador. “On the final leg of the Chief Minister’s Trophy, we are planning to release the anthem and mascot of TN Champions Foundation,” said Udhayanidhi.
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