CoE for Fencing likely to be inaugurated in March at MA Stadium

Goldi Sharma
JAMMU, Feb 25: The much awaited Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Fencing under Khelo India Scheme at Maulana Azad (MA) Stadium, announced by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is likely to be inaugurated in the 2nd week of March by de facto president of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
The Rs 5.08 crore CoE for fencing was announced here simultaneously by the then Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju along with Centre of Excellence for Rowing at the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council Water Sports Academy Srinagar. The latter was thrown open by Lieutenant Governor in the month of April 2021 and had organized a national level event there, but the other Centre of Excellence for Jammu in the discipline of Fencing is going to be thrown open soon.
“Worth crores sophisticated equipment required for the said Centre, have been purchased from a Punjab based supplier under global tendering process by the Council and the same were installed in the said Centre at Jammu. The new CoE shall have been a fencing court for imparting training to the budding fencers as well as a physio section, a weightlifting room and a massage centre will have also been available for the overall development of the sportsperson,” sources revealed.
“Nearly a year back, the J&K Sports Council in consultation with Sports Authority of India (SAI) had advertised a notice for appointment of high profile manager, coaches, assistant coach, a physio and other allied staff but unfortunately due to various reasons, the Authority concerned failed to conduct the interview prior for the said posts. Now, the Council has finalized the date to conduct the interview for the same posts on February 28, followed by the Centre being inaugurated,” sources said.
There are some other bottlenecks which are still prevailing and that should be addressed before the inauguration of the much awaited Centre including accommodation for fencers and swimming pool.
Regarding accommodation, in the month of December, 2021, the Council had deputed some officials to explore accommodation (hotels/lodges) which is adjacent to the newly established Centre for residing the trainees who will apply for the Centre from the far flung districts of the Union Territory.
“The officials deputed for the said work had submitted some invoices of different suitable hotels/lodges to the Council but till date, the issue of accommodation still not resolved as both the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and J&K Sports Council still not decided who will pay the expenses of the accommodation. The deliberations between both of them are still going on and hopefully the issue would be resolved soon” sources expressed hope on the prevailing situation.
As per the guidelines and set norms of the SAI’s Centre of Excellence for fencing as well as weekly training schedule, there should be a swimming pool for the trainees along with physio centre and massage centre for doing practice but due to unlimited delay in establishment of the all weather swimming pool inside the MA Stadium where construction work is going on at snail’s pace. “Although, during the preparing and finalizing of the Detail Project Report (DPR) of the Centre of Excellence, the authority concerned mentioned that the Council has an all weather swimming pool where work was to be going on war footing and soon it would be opened for the public but till date, the work is still hanging in balance,” sources added.
It is pertinent to mention here that there were 24 Centre of Excellence under the Khelo India Scheme across the 23 States and Union Territories and each of them focuses on the Olympics sports.