Tamil Nadu - Sports - Tamilnadu Sports

Tamilnadu Sports

Tamil Nadu has made fair strides in the field of sports. The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu SDAT is the government body that is vested with the responsibility of developing sports and related infrastructure in the state. The SDAT owns and operates a number of world class stadiums and organizes various sporting events. It also accommodates various sporting events, both at domestic and international level, organized by other sports associations at its venues. The YMCA College of Physical Education at Nandanam in Chennai was established in 1920 and was the first college for physical education in Asia.


Cricket is the most popular sport and Kabaddi is the state game of Tamil Nadu. M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is an international cricketing arena with a capacity of 50,000 and houses the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

Popular cricketers from Tamil Nadu who have represented the national team include S. Venkataraghavan, Kris Srikkanth, Robin Singh, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik, Subramaniam Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik. Cricket contests between local clubs and teams is also popular across the state. The MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai is a much sought after fast bowling academy by pace bowlers all over the world. The traditional sport of Kabaddi, called Sadu Gudu in Tamil, is another popular sport played extensively in the rural areas. Silambam is another popular traditional sport played in the rural areas.

The ATP Chennai Open tournament held in Chennai every January is the biggest Tennis event in South Asia. Tennis players from Tamil Nadu who had made it to the big stage include Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Mahesh Bhupathi and Prakash Amritraj. Tamil Nadu has a long standing motorsports culture. the first Indian to participate in F1 racing, and Karun Chandok. Motor racing events are held at the Irungattukottai track near Sriperumbudur, Sholavaram track and Kari Motorspeedway near Coimbatore.
Chennai Open

The Tamil Nadu Hockey Association is the governing body of Hockey in the state. Vasudevan Baskaran was the caption of Indian team that won gold medal in 1980 Olympics at Moscow. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai hosts international Hockey events and is regarded by the International Hockey Federation as one of the best in the world for its state-of-the-art infrastructure. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai is a multipurpose stadium hosting Football and Track & Field events. The Indian Triathlon Federation and the Volleyball Federation of India are headquartered in Chennai. Chennai hosted India’s first ever International Beach Volly ball Championship in 2008.

Chess and Carrom are popular indoor sports. World Chess champion and Indian Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and Arjuna Awardee and two-time world Carrom champion Maria Irudayam hail from Tamil Nadu. Snooker was invented by General Sir Frederick Roberts at the Ooty Club in Udhagamandalam. The Velachery Aquatics Sports Complex in Chennai hosts different kinds of water sports. The SDAT - TNSRA Squash Academy in Chennai, one of the very few modern squash facilities in South Asia, hosts international squash events. Tamil Nadu has six 18-hole Golf courses, the most popular of which are the Kodaikanal Golf Club, established in 1895, and Gymkhana Club, Chennai. The Madras Boat Club, set up in 1867, hosts regular rowing races on the Adyar River. The 232 year old Guindy race course in Chennai is popular horse racing venue. Apart from these, the Multi-Purpose Indoor Games Complex in Chennai hosts international events for Volly ball, Basketball, Tennis and Table Tennis. In the recent years, adventure sports have also gained popularity, especially amongst the tourists visiting the state.