Similarly, the seventh edition of the six-nation Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) hockey tournament is the brainchild of Stalin Jr
Tamil Nadu’s minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udayanidhi Stalin at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium yesterday; (right) FIH president Tayyab Ikram at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium yesterday. Pics/Ashwin Ferro
The Tamil Nadu government, led by chief minister MK Stalin, is aiming to be a global sporting hub and keeping this ambition in mind, his son, Udayanidhi, the state’s minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, is keen to ensure the state hosts numerous big-ticket sporting activities.
Last year, Stalin Sr had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports about Chennai’s interest in hosting the 2024 Asian Beach Games. Earlier this year, Chennai successfully hosted the squash World Cup (June 13-17) followed by the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad (July 28 to August 10) with both projects being keenly supervised by the chief minister and executed under the guidance of his son. Similarly, the seventh edition of the six-nation Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) hockey tournament is the brainchild of Stalin Jr.
Stalin Jr impressed
“I had gone to watch the FIH Hockey World Cup in Odisha earlier this year and was very impressed. That’s where I got the idea of hosting something like this in Chennai, where hockey has traditionally been a much-loved spot. I discussed the idea with Hockey India officials and that’s how the ACT was awarded to us,” Udayanidhi said during a media interaction at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium here.
Taking things a step further, Atulya Mishra, Additional Chief Secretary to the government’s Youth Welfare and Sports Development department, added that they will next be looking at hosting an Asian Games. “We have shown with the hosting of the squash World Cup, chess Olympiad and now the Asian Champions Trophy that Chennai is one of India’s leading destinations for sports so we could look at being the hosts for the Asian Games in future,” said Mishra.
‘A historic moment’
International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Tayyab Ikram gave the idea a thumbs up. “It’s a historic moment as international hockey returns to Chennai after so many years .
“I feel it [state/city] deserves something like the Asian Games and in my capacity and role with the Olympic movement, I will work hand-in-hand to help them in this milestone,” said Ikram.