Government plans to build 132 stadiums at taluk level

Perumal was speaking at the 34th graduation ceremony of the Sports Authority of India, South Centre’s diploma course in sports coaching. He added that the government was mooting a policy on giving incentives to athletes from the State who win medals at the international arena. Perumal further said the government was keen to make available facilities of international standard to sportspersons from the state.

Former athlete Ashwini Nachappa, who was also present, said sports should be made a part of the curriculum in schools as there was renewed interest following the country’s impressive showing at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games last year. She also suggested that the government consider a proposal to provide pension benefits for sportspersons once they hang up their boots.

In all, graduation certificates were handed out to 142 students from 26 states in 10 sporting disciplines. TK Senthil Kumar, who was the topper in swimming, won the All-round best student of the year award.

Dr G Kishore, director of the SAI, South Centre spoke about the trend of hiring foreign coaches in the country saying that although the resourcefullness of foreign coaches cannot be doubted, it was important to be self-reliant. He also added that he was impressed by the performance of the students in this academic year as the number of students getting Grade 1 had increased.

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