Valley’s first Hockey Astro Turf Stadium nearing completion in Pulwama

Labourers working at upcoming Synthetic Hockey Turf at Pulwama. - Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Labourers working at upcoming Synthetic Hockey Turf at Pulwama. - Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

Srinagar, Sept 17: The Valley’s first hockey Astro turf stadium, which is being built in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district at a cost of Rs 5 crores, is nearing completion, bringing joy to sports lovers in the area.
The stadium will be the first of its kind in the Valley and only the second in the entire Union Territory. The facility is being built at the Government Boys Higher Secondary School Pulwama under the Augmentation of Sports Infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir scheme.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha laid the foundation stone for the Hockey Astro Turf Stadium after his first visit to Pulwama in September 2020.
The Hockey Astro Turf Stadium was a long-awaited request from the district’s hockey fans. “This is a wonderful step by the Government. Such a facility is being built for the first time in the Valley. It will help hockey grow in the district,” Shahid Lala, a hockey enthusiast said.
The sports enthusiasts expressed their delight at the facility’s construction in their neighbourhood, saying it would boost the area’s sports activities. “The project has been moving at a steady pace, and the opening of such a facility would encourage the youth of the area to take part in sports and keep them away from things like drugs,” another sports enthusiast said.
Noorul Haq, District Officer for Youth Services and Sports, thanked the Government for providing such a valuable resource for Pulwama’s youth. “It was one of the projects included in the district’s Sports Infrastructure Enhancement Plan. I am grateful to the Government for selecting Pulwama for this prestigious project,” he said.
The facility would aid in the revitalization of hockey in the district. “This was once a popular game in the district. However, because of a lack of facilities and attention to the game, the players eventually switched to other sports,” he said.
Asked when the facility will be completed, he said: “It has been under construction for the last two years as work was put on hold for some time due to the pandemic. Work is going on in full swing and we expect the project to be completed by the end of this month.”