A run for peace

Payal Jain
Jammu Athletic Club marked the greatest streak in sports history in J&K by bringing in international athletes first time ever to the City of Temples in their very first edition of Jammu Half Marathon held on 11th Nov’18 . This was a signal to the world about Jammu and Kashmir being a peaceful State.
The image that the runners from Kenya, Denmark and other places who visited Jammu for the very first time carried back with them was that of warmth and love.
Jammu and Kashmir has been seeking greater people-to-people engagement with the rest of the nation on account of misinterpretations and perceptions about the state and these perceptions about the state can be changed only by better interaction between people. Events like JAC Half marathon and other project through collaborative efforts present the real side of J&K.
Every person visiting J&K is a very powerful interlocutor, and how he experiences the beauty of the state needs to be spread for its progress. Says a Kenyan runner “I felt great, I didn’t know what to expect as there is a certain image in mind when you come to J&K. It is surely none of that and is so peaceful.
The event speaks high of the progressive mind-set of the organisers. I am sure that I along with other international runners will be coming often to Jammu.” Gaurav Gupta and Vikram Gupta, the founder and co-founder of JAC saw are brain behind this event. Moved by the absence of farsightedness or zeal to raise the sports bar despite the presence of the immense talent in the state, these two young entrepreneurs decided to work for the cause. They conceptualised Jammu Athletes Club to encourage, promote and regulate athletic sports by creatisng opportunities at par with international standard. They conceptualised the marathon in month of July with a dream to signal to the rest of the world that Jammu and Kashmir is pursuing peace, harmony and development in all aspects, and at the same time promoting Sports Sector. They tried to harness local talents by providing sportsmen a platform to prove their credentials.
It is pertinent to mention, here that the core group, Vasu Gupta, Prabhat Singh, Surinder Choudhary, Sham Suri, Dilawar Khan, Gagan, Prince, Ishan, Jai Sharma, Kanav Padha, Rasmeet, Rakesh, Rajeshwar, Jagdish Sharma, considered themselves as ambassadors of J&K and worked together to project a positive image of the state as a safe destination like any other place in India.
Be it a marathon event or a golf one, organising such events will help to send a loud and clear message that Jammu and Kashmir is a safe destination to visit and fans can come and enjoy themselves as tourists and sports lovers.
Children can be misguided easily but channelizing their energies to the right sources will change the future course and their own fate through the power of sports and education.
Gaurav Gupta said, “Children from Jammu and Kashmir should also be given opportunity to develop like the children of the other parts of the country and JAC aims to provide that chance.” Vikram Gupta says “the three regions of the State present a perfect example of a harmonious society. We need support within the state and across the country in changing public perception about J&K, which has gone through very difficult and turbulent times. J&K has been an epitome of coexistence of cultural integration and as citizens it is our duty to put the things in the right perspective” Jammu Athletes Club is the very first athletes club of J&K state which is committed to provide support to amateur and professional athletes while uplifting the sports sector.
Noticing the immense talent within the youth of the state, JAC intent to harness the potential of determined and dedicated athletes and create champions through world class sports events.