Srinivas Goud, Sports Minister of Telangana posing after the felicitation of Olympic-bound athletes/File Photo

V Srinivas Goud, Telangana's sports minister, honoured state qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday at the Gachibowli Sports Complex. World champion PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, and doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are among the badminton players. Indian Tennis star player, Sania Mirza, who is competing in Wimbledon this year, was represented by her father, Imran Mirza.

Pullela Gopichand, the national coach of the Indian badminton team, as well as coaches Agus Dwi Santosa (Indonesia), Park Tae-Sang (Korea), Matheus Boe (Denmark), and Handball of India president Jagan Mohan Rao, were honoured at the event. Gopichand, on the other hand, has decided not to travel to Tokyo this time and will be replaced by two foreign singles coaches who will accompany the Indian team.

Srinivas Goud, speaking on the occasion, said that since the creation of Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has sanctioned funds for sports infrastructure development and support to sports persons.

The state administration has offered a number of incentives to promote sports growth in the state. He said an amount of Rs 118 crore was allotted during the current financial year for the promotion of sports in the state. 

According to him, the Chief Minister has given out Rs.25.87 crore in incentives to various sportspeople since the creation of the state. He went on to say that Rs 46.85 crore had been approved for the development of sports stadiums in every Assembly constituencies across the state. At Karimnagar, Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam, Wanaparthy, Saroornagar, and Mahabubnagar, the government is also constructing sports academies at a cost.

Telangana's Chief Minister has formed a Cabinet subcommittee to turn the state Telangana into a sports powerhouse. The Committee will be designing a sports policy, as well as sports development and provision of infrastructure. He also mentioned that efforts were being made to come up with a best sports policy in the country.

Several corporate companies are offering help in sports infrastructure development and promotion of sports under their corporate social responsibility programmes, according to Industries Minister KT Rama Rao's directives, he further continued.

I also take this opportunity to re-assert that the government is also committed to implementing the 0.5 per cent of government jobs under sports quota.

The Minister stated.

And, thanks to the initiative of our IT and Municipal Administration K.T. Rama Rao, many industrialists and corporates are coming forward to encourage sports in a big way.

The minister expressed his gratitude.

The whole endeavour is to make the entire Telangana as the sports hub of the country.

The Minister said.

He stated that the state government had increased the cash prize being given to Olympic medals winners. As a result, the gold medalist winner will receive Rs 2 crore, while the silver and bronze medalists will receive Rs 1 crore and Rs 50 lakh, respectively.

The state government was offering a monetary incentive of Rs.2 crore to the sports persons who won gold in the Olympic Games. He pointed out that this is far more than the Rs.50,000 cash incentive given in United Andhra Pradesh.

The financial prize for the silver medal has been enhanced from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore, while the prize for the bronze medal has been updated from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, he added.

The previous month, sports minister V Srinivas Goud also felicitated Tokyo-bound India’s badminton player B Sai Praneeth and his parents at his chambers and wished him good luck ahead of the all-important Olympic Games.

Sai Praneeth, who is now ranked No. 15 in the world badminton, was also handed a Rs 5 lakh cheque by the minister. He is the only man from India to qualify for the quadrennial Games in men's singles.

Sports secretary K S Sreenivasa Raju, SATS chairman Allipuram Venkateswara Reddy, sports officials V Sujatha, Dr K. Narsayya, enkaiah, Dhanalakshmi, Chandravathi, and others were among those in present.