The Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP), the Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association (APOA) and the Andhra Pradesh Youth Services and Sports came together to organize the State Olympic Run on 28th June. The event was a grand success with 1500+ athletes hailing from various districts having participated in it.
Sports Minister Kollu Ravindra and Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao flagged off the run, which began from Hotel DV Manor and concluded at the IGMC Stadium. MV Manikyala Rao, the Olympic Weightlifter was the torch bearer who led the “dressed in white” athletes and runners.
The centers of attraction at the event were the kid skaters, archers and judokas who wowed everyone with their amazing talent and histrionics. Devi Prasad, the international archer and Cherukuri Dolly Shivani, the kid archer impressed the bystanders with their awesome performances.
During the occasion, Minister Kollu Ravindra said that Andhra Pradesh Government is now well equipped to host the 2018 National Games. He added that the government with the support of various sports associations is all set to improve the conditions of the playgrounds and stadiums, such that they can be transformed to meet the international standards that are required for National Games.
He said that all athletes should draw inspiration from badminton player Kidambi Srikanth, who won Australian and Indonesia Super Series back to back and shuttler PV Sindhu, the Olympic Silver Medalist.
He added that the state government was planning to establish stadiums in every constituency of the Assembly to encourage sports and games. He went on to say that there is even a proposal for the construction of an international stadium in the new capital city of Amaravati.
Umamaheswara Rao said that the people in the villages too should be encouraged to take up various sports and games. LV Subramanyam, the Special Chief Secretary of Youth Services and Sports said that the AP government is prioritizing sports and creating various facilities for the players. On the occasion, Koneru Sridhar, the City Mayor requested the state government for releasing the funds that would come in handy for the construction of the various proposed stadiums like IGMC stadium, Chennupati Ramakotaiah Indoor Stadium and Makineni Basavapunnaih Stadium.
The other dignitaries who attended the event were Uma Maheswara Rao, the MLA from Vijayawada Central, P Ramakrishna, SAAP Special Duty Officer (OSD), K. Ch. Punnaiah Chowdary, Secretary (Tournaments) of Badminton Association of India (BAI) and K.Pattabhi.