Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday that sports activities in the country have experienced a notable surge under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Speaking after inaugurating Syed Modi India International Badminton Tournament, he highlighted the remarkable performances of athletes from UP in the Asian Games.
“We have all seen this miracle in the Asian Games. Sixteen percent of the country’s population resides in the state, but when it comes to medals, 25 percent of the medals in the Asian Games have been won by athletes from the state.”
He underscored that beyond motivating players, this global badminton competition serves as a crucial platform for the talented athletes of UP.
After being introduced to all the players, Yogi inaugurated the competition by actively participating in a game of badminton. Chairman of the UP Badminton Association Viraj Sagar Das presented a memento to the Chief Minister on the occasion.
Reflecting on the surge in sports activities across India, particularly in UP, under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, the CM highlighted the tangible impact of initiatives like the Khelo India Khelo campaign, the Fit India Movement and the promotion of sports competitions at the rural level.
He emphasized that these efforts have led to substantial increase in the number of medals won by the Indian players in the Olympics compared to previous years.
Speaking on the recent achievements in sports, especially in the Asian Games, Yogi expressed pride in the fact that Indian players surpassed the 100 medal mark for the first time. He also applauded the brilliant performance of Indian athletes in the Para Asian Games, where they won over 100 medals for the country.
The CM said, “Notably, players from UP played a significant role in these exceptional accomplishments.”
Assuring all kinds of support to the players of UP, he underscored the positive attitude of both the central and state governments towards sports activities.
Yogi affirmed that this supportive environment serves as a new platform for players and pledged the government’s commitment to providing all necessary assistance to ensure a bright future for them.
The CM said, “There was a pressing need for a quality badminton center in UP that would serve as a hub for player training and hosting national and international competitions.
Former Union Minister Akhilesh Das took the initiative and developed a facility spanning 10 acres. This area has now emerged as a central point, not just for player development but also for the organisation of various National and International Championships for badminton players within UP.
On this occasion, I also pay my humble tribute to Dr Akhilesh Das.”
Yogi extended a warm welcome to both the participating players and sports enthusiasts attending the competition, shedding light on the significance of the event. “This badminton championship was started in UP in 1991 in memory of the famous badminton player Syed Modi, who was the 8-time national champion of badminton and also the Gold winner at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
The CM said that in 2004, it gained international recognition, and subsequently the prize money was increased to 1.5 lakh US dollars by the Badminton World Federation. “This competition has also been given the status of World Tour Super 300 by the Badminton World Federation. Currently, the prize money stands at 2.10 lakh US dollars, approximately Rs 1.75 crore,” he said.