Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the state government will soon announce a Sports policy.

Flagging off the torch relay for the third Khel Mahakumbh (2012-13), a state sport event, here, Modi said, "the state government will soon come up with a Sports Policy to encourage youth participation in sports and to develop a vibrant sports culture in the state."

Khel Mahakumbh is a programme initiated by the state government in 2010 to encourage participation of youngsters, students studying in schools in sports events and activities for promoting sports culture in the state.

State Sports, Youth and Culture Affairs Minister Raman Vora said that more than 21 lakh people across various age categories have registered in this year's Khel Mahakumbh.

In 2011, a record 18 lakh sportpersons, including 60,000 differently able sportspersons, had graced the event.

Modi highlighted that no one knew about sports, youth and culture affairs ministry in the past but on Monday it is at the centrestage just like Finance, Industries, Agriculture and Education Ministries.

"Sports events or activities should not be organised as mere competitions. But it should be part of a person's social life. Competitions should be a mere by-product of sporting events," Modi said addressing budding sportspersons here.

Modi said there was a time when playgrounds would be brimming with children playing different sports. However, with the advent of television and computers, children are staying indoors more, evincing less interest in sports.

Subsequently, he said, Khel Mahakumbh was started to develop and encourage sports culture in the state.

He credited Physical Education (PE) teachers for creating a vibrant atmosphere for sports events, adding that the results will be visible in the future.

The Khel Mahakumbh torch relay, which was inaugurated on Monday, will cover 26 districts spanning a distance of 2745.30 km. Beginning from the state capital today, it will reach Ahmedabad on January 9 and culminate in Surat on January 17.


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