CHENNAI: Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami emphasised the need for more sporting competitions at all levels at the prize-giving ceremony of the 9th Rifle Shooting Championship (South Region) organised by the Chennai Rifle Club on Saturday. The championship saw 800 participants from all over the South, including States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar.
“It is great to see that people here are not divided by language, creed, religion or caste,” said Palaniswami. “All participants here are Indians first. It is extremely important to have these small competitions as it helps sportspeople shine in national and international competitions later. It helps them balance success and failure too, where they are not bogged down in failure or ecstatic with their success.”
Palaniswami spoke of the past winners of the rifle championship and spoke highly of Roopa Sreenath who went on to win a gold medal at the 16th Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and was the first woman from Tamil Nadu to win the prestigious Arjuna award. Palaniswami complimented the Chennai Rifle Club on its endeavours to make shooting more accessible to people.
“The Chennai Rifle Club has produced many distinguished sportspersons, some of whom have also been inducted into the Police Department,” said Palaniswami. “In the 65 years of its existence, it has grown from a small club to one that now has 475 members. They have been giving the equipment required for the sport at a concession to encourage more people to take up the sport. Further, there is no entrance fee for physically challenged participants.”
Minister for Rural Industries P Benjamin, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan, Tiruvallur MP Dr P Venugopal, Tamil Nadu DGP TK Rajendran, Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan and president of the Chennai Rifle Club TV Sitarama Rao, among others, were present at the event.