Come Andhra, Let's Play: To Endorse A Healthy Lifestyle, Andhra Pradesh Govt Appeals Youth To Participate in Aadudam Andhra & Make It A Massive Hit
With the energetic beats of the ‘Aadudam Andhra’ anthem echoing through Vijayawada's Indira Gandhi Stadium and 'Kittu,' (blackbuck) the mascot, adorning the venue, Andhra Pradesh’s Sports Minister RK Roja, SAAP (Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh) Chairman Byreddy Siddharth Reddy, Principal Secretary PS Pradyumna and SAAP MD Dhayanachandra briefed the media about the upcoming mega sports festival – ‘Aadudam Andhra’.
Explaining the motto behind Andhra Pradesh's biggest ever sporting extravaganza, Minister Roja said that the new campaign had been designed with only one aim in mind: 'To encourage youth to participate in sports so that they maintain a healthy lifestyle and to provide them with a platform to showcase their sporting talent so that they can be scouted and trained by big sports academies and sports veterans.' She further elaborated, 'Aadudam Andhra will help the Government identify sports talent, particularly from the rural backdrop, and provide them with the best platform and resources to excel at the national and international level.'
Spilling out the details of the campaign, she informed, 'Knock-out competitions will be held for 5 competitive sports, including Cricket, Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Badminton, and Volleyball, separately for both genders, men and women, across the state at 5 levels (village, mandal, constituency, district and state).'
Encouraging all citizens of the state above 15 years of age to participate in huge numbers, the Sports Minister further explained the registration process, “In order to participate, individuals can register at aadudamandhra.ap.gov.in, or dial the toll-free 1902 number, or visit their nearest Gram/Ward Secretariat.” She further emphasized the intricately thought out and comprehensive arrangements made by the State Government, ensuring the successful conduct of a record 3 lakh matches in 50 days.
While explaining how the Government will aid the players, Minister Roja said, 'Registered players will receive basic kits at ward/village secretariats and professional kits once they reach the constituency level to ensure that all participants have equitable resources to display their talent. Basically, all you have to do is just come and play and we will take care of all the remaining things.'
'The top players and teams playing at the constituency, district, and state levels will be given cash prizes. The total pool money for these prizes is Rs 12 crores,” Minister Roja said while apprising the media about the exciting prizes that the participants shall be receiving. Adding to it, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) chairman Byreddy Siddharth Reddy stated, 'The participants shall also be rewarded with T-shirts, caps, basic gear, trophies, medals, and professional training by interested sports academies.'
Declaring 'Aadudam Andhra' as AP's largest sporting event, Byreddy Siddharth Reddy informed that, 'The government is expecting a potential participation of 85 lakh to 1 crore people. Over 10,000 playing grounds across 15,000 ward/village secretariats have been prepared for more than 3 lakh sports events to be held. The event will be facilitated by ward/village volunteers, who are being trained as match referees.”
Providing support for cricket enthusiasts, Reddy announced that, 'the Andhra Pradesh government is looking forward to making a collaboration with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to provide training at exclusive IPL franchise-run academies.'
In the end, Minister Roja and Byreddy, on a lighter note, exchanged a few trivia questions to discover each other's sports knowledge. During this exchange, Minister Roja asked about Byreddy's preferred sport and player; he promptly responded that his favourite sport is cricket, and while he admired Sachin Tendulkar in the past, his current favourite is the Indian Cricket Team Captain - Rohit Sharma’. Similarly, when Byreddy asked Minister Roja about her favourite game, she disclosed that her preferred sport is ‘Kabaddi’, and she finds the most joy in actively participating in the game.
On being asked whether opposition leaders like Nara Lokesh and Pawan Kalyan are allowed to participate in the sports events’, Minister Roja sportingly stated, 'Any individual who is a resident of AP, is above 15 years of age is allowed to take part in the competition. We welcome one and all!'
While interacting with each other, Minister Roja was asked to sing the initial lines of the Aadudam Andhra anthem song, which were ‘Pada Pada Idhi Mana Samayam, Pada Pada Idhi Mana Aata Kadha’. Adding to these, Roja composed a few lines to endorse the initiative and said, ‘Aadudam Andhra: Idhi Andari Aata, Yuvaraj Bhavishyathuku Bangaru Bata, Meelo Unna Pratibhanu Velikiteesi Veta,’ which translates to "It's a game for everyone, a golden path to the future of youth, a quest to uncover the talent within you.'