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Our govt always encourages youth to participate in sports, says Mamata

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday reiterated that the state government has always encouraged the youth to participate in sports.

On the occasion of "International Day of University Sport", Banerjee said with the aim of bringing people of backward regions into the mainstream, her government organises the Jangalmahal Cup, Himal-Terai-Dooars Sports Festivals & Sundarban Cup.

Taking to her Twitter handle, she said: "Today is #InternationalDayofUniversitySport. Our Govt of #Bangla has always encouraged the youth to participate in sports. We organise the Jangalmahal Cup, Himal-Terai-Dooars Sports Festivals & Sundarban Cup with the aim of bringing people of backward regions into the mainstream," she added.

Organised every year since 2016, the International Day of University Sport (IDUS) is celebrated on September 20, and was officially proclaimed by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO).

This day aims at creating links between universities and their local communities focused around sport, physical activity and healthy living. The state government has set up Bengal Football Academy (Khardah), Bengal Archery Academy (Jhargram), Bengal Tennis Academy (Salt Lake), 27 youth hostels (with facility for online booking), multi-gyms in 3,565 schools and colleges, 684 mini indoor games complexes and developed 398 playgrounds.

After coming to power in 2011, the Chief Minister had encouraged sporting activities in Jangalmahal and Darjeeling where peace had been disturbed for many years due to extremist activities.

The Maoists were very active in Jangalmahal before the Trinamool Congress government came to power and people refused to visit the area apprehending trouble.

Banerjee introduced the Jangalmahal Cup to encourage the youths there. This had tremendous impact and the districts in Jangalmahal began to work out to prepare the best district teams. The districts include West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum, Burdwan East and West. Banerjee used to inaugurate the Cup and later gave away the prizes to the winning team. The state government has also offered jobs as civic volunteers to the players of the winning team. There has been tremendous excitement among the youths when the league matches are played in these areas.

Along with the men's football team, the state government has encouraged women to play football in these areas with a view to bring them to the mainstream.

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