National soft tennis championship begins in MP

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Bhopal, May 26 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh State Soft Tennis Association has started first time four-day 6th Senior National Soft Tennis Championship (Men and Women) with 350 players from 20 states here today.

The opening ceremony of the championship was held in the presence of Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Dhruvnarayan Singh, Bhopal Development Authority President Surendranath Singh and School Games Federation of India General Secretary A K Mishra at local Arera Club.

''Fourteen teams including Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Gujarat, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala besides Madhya Pradesh teams will take part today while Chhattisgarh and Dadar Nagar Haweli teams would arrive tomorrow,'' said Indian Amateur Soft Tennis Federation Secretary Sudesh Sangate.

Federation's Secretary J K Kharodara said that due to the interest of players and five years of effort, the Centre had recognised soft tennis. Madhya Pradesh had already hosted fourth and fifth Championship in Indore.

''In the escalating cricket boom in the country it is a good surprise that people are interested in new game like this,'' Mr Singh said.

In soft tennis the rules are same as lawn tennis but the ball is comparatively soft and racket is a bit small. Soft tennis was started in Japan in the end of 19th century and soon gained popularity in Asian and American countries but only five years ago the game was introduced in India.

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