Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (HB)
Udupi, Jan 10: Minister for sports and youth empowerment and district in-charge Pramod Madhwaraj on Tuesday January 10 inaugurated state-level Khelo India swimming tournament at Mahatma Gandhi district stadium here. The Udupi district administration, zilla panchayat, Udupi, youth empowerment and sports department, sports ministries of Government of India and Karnataka Sports Authority jointly organized the event.
Addressing the gathering, the minister recalled his meeting with the union sports minister and said, "This tournament was almost shelved, but was planned again on demand. The budget required for the tournament was Rs 10 crore, but the centre has released only Rs 3 crore. Hence, we have cut down the number of events from 11 to eight."
Madhwaraj also informed that discussion on the formation of a new sports policy was on. "A draft has been prepared on the sports policy. It will be announced in the next budget. As many as 1,000 top sportspersons will be selected from Karnataka to train for the next Olympic Games. Around 62 have already registered. The selected sportspersons will receive unit codes after they register their names online. The code will be then linked to their Aadhar card. The government will monitor the progress of the sportspersons," he added.
"The government will tie up with corporate sectors and will sponsor the sportspersons. Outstanding athletes will be the beneficiaries under 'Khelo India'. They will be under the government's care," he asserted.
The minister further revealed that chief minister Siddaramaiah has announced cash rewards of Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 2 crore for bagging gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympics. "We should win at least one gold medal in the next Olympics," he said.
Udupi zilla panchayat chief executive officer Priyanka Mary Francis advised students to make use of the facilities provided by the government.
Selection trials were held for under-14 and under-17 participants for national-level competitions after the inaugural function.
Vishwas Pawar, observer and others were present.