Making J&K a power house of sporting talent

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Oct 5: In the last three years, unprecedented progress is being witnessed in the establishment of world class sports infrastructure and facilities across J&K.
The new policies and initiatives of Government have established an enabling environment for sportspersons which was non-existent from last 70 years.
Earlier, merely two to three lakh youth used to get opportunities for participation in sports events every year, but the incumbent J&K Government set a new record and 17.5 lakh youth were provided the opportunity to participate in sporting activities last year.
According to an official spokesperson, the Government has set a target of providing sports opportunities to 35 lakh youth. The FIFA standard renovated and upgraded Bakshi Stadium has been dedicated to the young players and play fields have been established in all Panchayats. Women’s teams for Rugby, Football, Cricket, Volleyball, Kabaddi and Hockey have been formed in all 20 districts.
To secure career progression of the talented and meritorious sports persons, a new sports policy has been notified and the process of their appointment to Government services has been initiated for clearing the backlog from 2014-2021. Twenty two indoor multi-purpose halls have been set up in all 20 districts of the Union Territory and 40 state-of-the-art sports grounds have been constructed to host national level tournaments.
38 Khelo-India Centers have also been established in various sports disciplines. Presently, work on 948 sports infrastructure projects is underway which are expected to be completed in this financial year.
‘My Youth My Pride’ in 22 disciplines in the Kashmir division and 18 in the Jammu division programme turned out to be a solid forum for sportspersons to showcase their talent. It has inculcated a winner’s instinct among youth and kindled hopes of an ascent in sporting performance in national and international games.
Notably, the J&K Sports Council has successfully completed many key infrastructure projects which are playing an essential role in training the youth in different sports. With the help of veteran sportspersons, schools and coaches, the Sports Council is working to ensure young generation get to play a variety of sports.
The new sports policy incorporates various annual awards and special cash awards to the winners in Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games among other tournaments in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore. Further, the winners in all recognised national competitions and National School Games in various sports disciplines will be granted specified scholarships.
Special emphasis has also been laid to meet the sporting needs of the specially abled sportspersons through sufficient infrastructure and training facilities.