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Chennai Sailing academy project set to take off

Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu floats tender for a detailed project report

Almost two years after the announcement by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the Assembly, the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDATN) has floated a tender to engage a consultant for preparing a detailed project report (DPR) on the Tamil Nadu Sailing Academy and Centre of Excellence in Sailing, which is expected to come up on the Marina beachfront here.

Sources said the academy would come up on the land abutting the Cooum behind the Anna swimming pool at Anna Square. The successful bidder will also conduct a borehole investigation and environment impact assessment.

First of a kind

Though there are sailing schools and associations in various parts of the country, there is no government-run sailing academy. “This will be the first such facility in India,” said Ashok Thakkar, president of the Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA). “Once the academy is set up, focus can be on the training, and not procedure.”

However, the TNSA, which functions within the Chennai Port Trust complex, faces challenges. Foreign nationals with business visas alone can enter the port campus.

The academy on the Marina is expected to generate interest in sailing as a water sport, especially among the young. “When more people see sailing activity, naturally their interest towards the sport will go up,” Mr. Thakkar said.

An SDATN official said plans were on to provide training for kayaking and canoeing at the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University at Melakottaiyur, and rowing at Muttukadu.