The government has been taking steps to bring back Chennai Open ATP to the State capital, from where it moved out in 2017, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in the Assembly on Thursday.
In a suo motu statement in the House, Mr. Stalin said the Tamil Nadu government was also taking steps to host Beach Olympics. He also said that sports stadia in each of the Assembly constituencies across the State would be set up.
The 44th Chess Olympiad scheduled between July 28 and August 10 would be hosted by the State government and players from 180 countries would participate in the event, Mr. Stalin said.
Hosting international sports events would help bring fresh investments into sports sector. It would also give tourism a fillip, he said.
Listing out the steps being undertaken by the government to promote sports among children and youth, Mr. Stalin said efforts were already on to set up a mega sports city near Chennai.
Four Olympic academies across the State would also be set up. A ‘Olympic Gold Quest’ programme to mentor Olympic medallists was in the offing with an allocation of ₹25 crore.
A modern sports complex with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure would be set up in north Chennai at a cost of ₹10 crore. It would include facilities for volleyball, badminton, basketball, boxing, kabaddi, indoor games and a modern gymnasium, the Chief Minister said.
The State government would also set up a new jallikattu arena at Alanganallur. A G.O. had been issued for reserving 3% of seats reserved for sports to give jobs to ‘silambam’ players, he said.
Speaking to The Hindu, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association Secretary Mr. Prem Kumar Karra welcomed the CM's remarks.
"We are very happy to hear make the announcement of trying to bring back the Chennai Open. With the support of the government, we will be able to put on a very good tournament like we used to do for two decades," said Karra.
He added that TNTA President and former Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj had spoken with the Chief Minister about this and is also in touch with the ATP to find a way to bring back the tournament here.
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