Delhi sportspersons felicitated for outstanding performance

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New Delhi, May 20 (UNI) The Delhi Governemnt today felicitated several sportspersons from the city who brought laurels for the country during 2006-07 at various international and national tournaments.

Addressing a function organised by the Delhi Government's Directorate of Education to felicitate the sportspersons, who included wrestlers Dinesh Kumar and Rakesh Kumar and cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said Delhi sportspersons had been earning laurels and recognition at various national and international levels.

''The country has great expectations from them. The pace of their preparation for the ensuing Commonwealth Games makes us confident that they would be able to win a number of medals in various events,''the Chief Minister said.

An amount of Rs 3.5 crore was disbursed through cheques to 2373 players who participated in 37 events. Wrestlers Dinesh Kumar and Rakesh Kumar were presented an amount of Rs 15,51,000 each while Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma were presented an amount of Rs 2 lakh each.

Eight players were presented cheques amounting from Rs five to nine lakh while five others were given cheques amounting from Rs one to three lakh.

Mr Vijay Sharma, father of Ishant Sharma, received a cheque on behalf of his son.

Also felicitated were two veteran players, 80-year-old Ram Lal Sharma and 75-year-old Krishna Chopra. A handicapped player Balwant Singh was also presented a cheque of Rs 1.5 lakh. Players who have qualified for the Beijing Olympics, including wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, Table Tennis player Neha Aggarwal and swimmer Sandeep Sejwal, were also honoured.

Addressing the sportspersons, Ms Dikshit said a sport was as important for life as other activities.

''One can learn discipline, and good habits through sports which helps in bringing positive attitude in life. The involvement in sports also results in concentration which is a key to success,'' Ms Dikshit said.

The Chief Minister said the popularity of sports was not only limited to cricket. It is imminent to develop interest of children and youth in all other sports.

The city government has been providing financial assistance once a year to talented sportspersons for participation in international tournaments. The maximum ceiling for the assistance is Rs. 1.25 lakh.

The city government also confers the outstanding players with the Rajiv Gandhi state sports award which includes Rs two lakh, a citation and a memento.

The government is providing nutritious diet and scientific training to budding players. The government has also made mandatory for every government school student to take part in one of the offered sports. The players who have been selected for participation in the Common Wealth Games are also been imparted intensive training.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh described this felicitation ceremony as a glorious day in the history of the city.

''Delhi has rendered a pioneering contribution in all fields including education. It has been providing due attention on the quality of the education and its government schools are now considered much better than existing public schools,''Mr Singh said.

Asserting that there would be no dearth of money for imparting sports training, Mr Singh said the Government would continue to encourage youngsters and budding sportspersons by all means.

He said infrastructure development of the Thyagraj, Chhaatrasal and Rajiv Gandhi stadiums is being done with dure care to provide international infrastructure.

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