Offbeat Tourism

Call to promote ‘sports tourism’ in Ooty

COIMBATORE

Sports tourism should be promoted at the Race Course in Udhagamandalam, says the Nilgiri Documentation Centre.

There was a time when the hill station attracted many sports enthusiasts. The honorary director of the centre, Dharmalingam Venugopal recalled that love for sports was promoted in Udhagamandalam by the British, reports The Hindu.

“Englishmen brought gymkhana, polo, cricket, boating, tennis, shooting and horse racing to The Nilgiris. They also invented the game of snooker here,” he said. Football, cricket, and especially hockey continued to be popular throughout the district.

The district has produced legendary football and hockey players in the 1950s and 60s and was selected as the acclimatisation centre for the Indian contingent to the 1968 Olympic Games, in Mexico.

Udhagamandalam has hosted several national championship events since then. But sports activities steadily declined over the last two decades due to lack of promotion, modernisation of sports facilities and sponsorship.

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