Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today said that sports infrastructure would be massively spread in urban and rural areas of the state in the next few years.
He said stadia and multi-purpose halls in each district, stadium at block level and sports centres and nurseries in all villages will ensure spread of sports culture at the grassroots level.
Khattar said this after laying the foundation stone of a world class stadium by upgrading the War Heroes Memorial Stadium in Ambala Cantonment at a cost of Rs 48.57 crore.
He enjoined on the people of Haryana to encourage their children to take to sport in a major way so that talent could be harnessed at a young age.
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State Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Kumar Vij said that to encourage sports persons to excel at the Olympics the state was giving the highest prize money to Olympic medal winners in the country Rs 6 crore for gold, Rs 4 crore for silver and Rs 2.5 crore for bronze.
A sports university was in the process of being set up at Rai and in this year’s state budget the allocation for sports had seen the maximum increase, he said.
The chief minister, sports minister and other ministers in the Haryana government were here to witness the final bouts of the highest prize money ‘Bharat Kesari Dangal,’ free style wrestling championship, at the same venue.
It was being organised under the ongoing Swarna Jayanti celebrations of the state.
More than 900 players from 10 districts of Haryana were given away cash prizes worth Rs 22.36 crore for their participation in various national and international tournaments.
The players were from Bhiwani, Gurgaon, Yamunanagar, Jhajjar, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Panchkula, Panipat, Palwal and Rewari districts.
Earlier, another Rs 18.52 crore worth of award money was distributed among players from the remaining districts of Haryana, making the total reward money to Rs 41.38 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)