Judo tournament at Vyasarpadi slums

Chennai; The Tamilnadu State judo championship ventured into unchartered territory, with the entire competition held in a slum setup at Vysarpadi over the weekend.
A press release here said, “It proved to be a massive hit as over 3,000 people turned up to watch tiny tots compete and exhibit their skills. A festive atmosphere reigned at the venue as the full neighbourhood roared in delight as little boys and girls grappled with each other.”
“It wasn’t just about fighting tenaciously though; each kid was fighting to gain a place in the Tamil Nadu squad to participate in the upcoming national judo championship.”
The 315 judo students from different schools in different parts of the state fought under a makeshift shamiana in the park right in the middle of the slums , surrounded by adoring parents and wide-eyed locals. The organisers, however, ensured that approved matting was in place for the safety of the competitors. The biggest cheers were reserved for a 78-year-old “young man” Kyoshi C.S. Rajagopal who gave a demonstration of his judo skills.
“This is a novel initiative with a noble goal,’ Walter Devaram, chairman of the Tamilnadu Judo Association, said.’“We want every segment of the society, including the economically backward classes, to look at judo as a sporting option,” he added.
“I must thank our chairman for helping us turn this dream into reality,” the association’s president, Vijay, said on Sunday, just before the prize-distribution ceremony.
The federation chose Vysarpadi after careful analysis and thought as these slums are known to produce the State’s best boxers over the years. The entire idea was to create awareness about judo as not only a sport and a martial art but also as a career and way of life.
“We chose a slum area because people here are the closest to our rural folk and I believe if we encourage them to take up sport we can hope to produce many champions, not just in judo but also other sports,” Vijay said.

         

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