Madhya Pradesh: International, national tourneys boost Bhopal’s sports culture

Performing on home ground makes us feel proud, confident: Athletes

FP News Service Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2023, 10:01 PM IST
Representative Image |

Representative Image |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Bhopal has grown into a sports hub as most national and international tournaments that are organised in Madhya Pradesh are held in the state capital.

Earlier, Bhopal was considered only a "hockey nursery," as it was the only sport athletes saw around them. Now, city hosts national and international tournaments of different sports, which have drawn local youths to sports.

Khelo India Youth Games, National Championships of Boxing and Equestrian, and upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup 2023 have not only created sports culture in the city but also sports environment that MP lacked.

“As a player, I am happy that a world cup will be held at our academy. It’ll be exciting for me to perform at our home shooting range,” MP’s Olympian shooter Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar had told Free Press earlier.

Madhya Pradesh State Equestrian Academy owns several foreign-bred horses worth lakhs of rupees. Some of them are German-bred horses. The academy is equipped with arenas for different equestrian events.

Defying notion that equestrian is only rich man's sport, MP’s horse riders who come from a farming background defeated players who belong to affluent families at Junior National Equestrian Competition.

During Khelo India, many youths came to watch judo matches at Sports Authority of India, Bhopal, not because they liked the sport but to see where the country’s best judokas, like Olympian Avtar Singh and Commonwealth Games medallist Vijay Yadav, trained. "We are here to see the champions, we want to join judo and perform against them," they said.

Many girls decided to become boxers after watching boxers Nikhat Zareen and Olympian Lovlina Borgohain during 6th Elite Women's National Boxing Championship at Tatya Tope stadium in Bhopal.

Published on: Saturday, February 25, 2023, 10:01 PM IST