Laxmi Ratan Shukla, minister of state for youth and sports affairs, assured that his department is taking various initiatives to encourage youth to participate in various sports. The state government has already given a huge boost to the sports infrastructure in the state. Stadiums have been set up while many others are coming up. The allocation of fund has been increased by the state government to promote various sports and also encourage youth interested in sports.
Shukla was speaking at the inauguration of the second edition of ‘International Open Karate Championship 2016, which was organized on Sunday at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
The professional Karate Championship is the first of its kind initiative which aims to create history in Bengal Karate scenario. International Open Karate Championship 2016 was observed for 3 days consecutively from August 5 at Khudiram Anushilon Kendra with various events followed by cadet and junior events. On August 6, various sessions were organised for the children below 6 years. On Sunday, which was the concluding day, the Netaji Indoor Stadium witnessed the mega finals where the champion team was awarded Rs. 50,000, the runners-up received an amount of Rs.25000, and Rs 15000 was given to the joint 3rd.
Commenting on the occasion, Martial Art personality Shihan Premjit Sen, Chief Technical Director of International Open Karate Championship said, “Karate has been included in 2020 Olympics and such kind of tournaments shall not only popularize the sport but also motivate the aspiring young karatekars to excel and aim for the ultimate result in future. We are grateful to the esteemed dignitaries for their graceful presence and the enthusiastic and active participation of the karatekars worldwide.”
Karate is an ancient form of martial arts. 22 teams including the Indian Army participated in the tournament. Team Kumite, an all-star Martial Arts travel team originating from Allegheny Shotokan region of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, performed on the last day at Netaji Indoor Stadium. This was the 2nd edition of International Open Karate Championship and referees and judges from World Karate Federation and Asian Karate Federation judged a tournament for the first time ever in Kolkata.
State co-operation minister, Arup Roy, chairperson, Baranagar Municipality, Ms. Aparna Moulik, and chairperson in Council Baranagar Municipality, Mr. Dilip Narayan Basu, also graced the occasion. The event also witnessed the presence of other participants and dignitaries from neighbouring states like
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Uzbekistan.