Pradeep Pattanayak

The first Open National Kalinga Artistic Gymnastics Invitational Championship kick started in Bhubaneswar on Friday. 

As many as 250 participants from 15 states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have participated in the championship which is organised at the J M Sports Academy. 

“This championship is being organised in national level for the first time. Besides 250 gymnasts, 30 clubs from across the country are also participating in it,” said chairperson of JM Sports Academy, Meerarani Das. 

According to the organisers, the objective of organising such a championship is to provide the gymnasts of grass root level with a national level platform. 

“Gymnastic has still been in nascent stage. Many people are not aware of the basics of it. If such a competition is organised once every three or six months, our children will be aware of it and their interest would grow,” opined Pradeep Sahu, Gymnastic coach. 

Expressing her happiness, Ritika Das, a participant, said, the event has provided her an opportunity to compete with national level gymnasts. 

The Championship will conclude on June 19.