Minister for Sports, Youth Services and Judiciary Kollu Ravindra inaugurated the 15th edition of National Inter-District Junior Athletics Meet (NID-JAM-2017) at Visakhapatnam Port Trust Diamond Jubilee Stadium here on Friday.
In all 4,455 athletes aged under 14 and 16 years from 400 districts in the country are participating in 30 events in the three-day meet.
Addressing the athletes, Mr. Ravindra said that sport is a powerful social tool that brings together people from different backgrounds and it plays an important role in improving the physical and mental health.
He further said the TDP governments aim is to make Visakhapatnam as sports hub and is creating infrastructure for coaching and competitions in the city. "We have decided to set up Kreeda Vikas Kendras in Vizag, Amaravathi and Tirupati and over 3,000 playgrounds would be ready by next year in the State," he said.
Athletes from Andhra Pradesh would be given special incentives if they perform well in this meet. "We are planning to develop the sports infrastructure in all the major cities and towns under Public and Private Partnership (PPP) mode," he added. Anju Bobby George, who clinched the gold medal in the 2005 World Athletics meet in Monte Carlo, was present and encouraged the junior athletes to give their best.