Youth will develop from field sports, not PUBG: Sunil Kedar, Maharashtra Sports Minister

In an exclusive interaction with Mumbai Live, Maharashtra Sports Minister said that he aims at bringing the youth out of PUBG and introduce them to field sports

Youth will develop from field sports, not PUBG: Sunil Kedar, Maharashtra Sports Minister

Maharashtra has been one of the most active 'sports-playing' states in India and has produced some of the finest sports stars that the country has seen. From Cricket to Kabaddi, the state has always been leading the charge in the sports department and one of the crucial reasons behind the same is the state government's support, irrespective of the politics.

In an attempt to honour its top sports stars, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government organised an award ceremony, Shiv Chhatrapati Award, recently. More than 63 awards were handed out and the winners of the Khelo India Youth Games from Maharashtra were also be honoured. The Shiv Chhatrapati Award is the highest level of award in Maharashtra awarded for achievements in the field of sports.

Talking about the same, Sports & Youth Welfare Minister, Sunil Kedar, in an exclusive interview with Mumbai Live, spoke about the importance of sports in youth welfare, amongst several aspects of sports in Maharashtra. Addressing Mumbai's Ranji Trophy performance this season, Sunil said, "The coaches and the club will have to make amends to bring Mumbai back on track. I don't blame the players for Mumbai's bad performance. Maybe there were shortcomings from our side and we would like to amend that. Because field sports can develop the person, PUBG cannot."

On being asked whether the players from Mumbai constantly appearing for international matches instead of domestic matches affected the team's game plan, Sunil denied of any such situation arising. The Maha Sports Minister further explained about the government's plans to promote traditional sports like Malkhamb and Yoga. He said that there are various tournaments held to promote such sports but unless the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) comes into effect, the project cannot reach a required level.

The Sports Minister is all hands on deck for digitalisation and says technology is vital for today's generation. However, he wants the youngsters to leave the online multiplayer game, PUBG and playfield sports.

"State government is trying to bring the youth out of the screens. The first step is to develop the amenities offered to the athletes in the state. If that happens, the youngsters will naturally be drawn to play field sports. Youth will develop from field sports, not PUBG."

Sunil also spoke about the three cricket associations in Maharashtra, i.e. Mumbai Cricket Association, Maharashtra Cricket Association, and Vidarbha Cricket Association, when he was asked if there was a need for three of them to exist in one state. "All three associations have their roles to play. More associations mean more opportunities for players from Maharashtra," he added  

He announced that the government is drafting a new sports policy to bridge the gap that sports stars face after passing out from school and playing sports in college. 

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