Monday, November 29, 1999

Sports as social activity, city outfit plans a festival

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In a bid to promote niche sports and encourage up-and-coming talent, the Vishram Baug Tarun Mandal, a city-based cultural association, will organise a sports festival from May 20.Nitin Kotwal, president of Vishram Baug Tarun Mandal, said the Mandal, which generally promotes functions such as Ganesh Festival and Dahi Handi festivities, has decided to focus on sports as a social activity."We want to tap the energy of youth and direct it towards positive attitudes and actions. We believe that we can help them to develop sporting culture and dissuade them from bad habits through this medium," he added.Kotwal went on to state that the Vishrambaug Tarun Mandal Sports festival has been organised this year with exactly that intention. "Initially we have chosen two sports, one national and one international as these are the sports of the common man. We will also organize other sports through out the year," he added.The Mandal will be organising a women's Kabbadi and a Junior Boxing tournament, apart from a tennis ball cricket tournament they have organising for the last 15 years, he added. The event will be held at the Vasantrao Bhagwat Sports Complex in Shanipar.The festival will start with a district level Women's Kabbadi Championship on May 20 and 21, in which around 16 teams have confirmed their participation. They have chosen to conduct a women's Kabbadi tournament as there are very few Kabbadi events for women in Pune.The Mandal has its own association with the sport, with one of its members Sheetal Marne representing the country, and also winning the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Award recently.The Kabbadi event will be followed by a Pune District level boxing tournament organized by the Pune City Amateur Boxing Association from May 23 to 25. The tournament will include various age groups such as Boys and GirlsUnder-16, Under-19 and Open categories. The Pune District team for the State Youth Cup (Under 19 team) will be selected from the event. Top junior players and state champions Salman Shaikh, Harshad Wani,Rohan Shah, Ajinkya Chavan, Saloni Shah and Chanda Udanchive will take part.

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