SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government is taking various initiatives to create world-class infrastructure and introducing new policies to make J&K a powerhouse of sports.
An official said that the Youth of J&K are immensely talented and deserve more opportunities and exposure to display their talent.
We are committed to extending all possible support to the local sportspersons who strive hard to make J&K and the nation proud in different sports disciplines, an official of J&K administration remarked.
“The J&K Government is taking ground-breaking initiatives for creating world-class infrastructure, implementing new policies to make J&K the Power House of sports,” he said.
The concerned department plans activities throughout the year while infrastructure work is already going on a massive scale. The sports policy is not merely focusing on activities like Cricket, Football but is now giving importance to popular activities like Volleyball, Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Water Sports and Winter Sports as well which were ignored in the past.
The development of sports infrastructure which started after the abrogation of Article 370 is bringing ground-breaking change to the sports arena of J&K.
Notably, Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, e-inaugurated a multi-sports facility sports excellence centre at Hira Nagar dedicated to former Union Minister late Arun Jaitley. The centre is coming up at an allocated cost of Rs 200 Crore fund under the PMDP scheme for sports structure revamp. It will be the first its kind sports facility in the Country which was a dream of late Arun Jaitley.
In a major departure from the past, J&K Administration focuses on quality sports facilities and training not only in Srinagar and Jammu cities but across the UT. Earlier, focus was on the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu. Every district is equipped with top-level Indoor Stadiums besides Outdoor stadiums are coming in every District and even at block levels, Panchayat levels. The J&K Govt wants to make a complete overhaul of the sports structure in J&K and provide sportspersons with all the facilities so that they can hone their skills.
The administration is also working to prepare youth of J&K for big events like Asian Games and Olympics. Earlier J&K had no requisite infrastructure, training and coaches for bigger international events. UT administration is targeting those disciplines in which Olympic level athletes can be produced.
According to official figures, the medal tally of J&K at National level competitions in 2020-21 in 14 disciplines was 72 gold, 90 silver and 145 bronze medals. Skier Arif Khan who hails from a small village of Goiwara in Hajibal, Tangmarg in Kashmir valley has achieved the unique distinction of being India’s sole representative at the Beijing Winter Olympics. He is also the first athlete from the country to win direct quota spots in two different Winter Olympics events.
It is worth mentioning that during Khelo India Winter Games, Union Sports Minister announced the centre of excellence for the Winter Games to be set up in Gulmarg. The centre is being established keeping in view the potential and environment of J&K in winter sports.
Pertinently, the first-ever sports policy has been notified and adopted for the promotion of sports in the Union Territory. Besides, monetary incentives, it envisages the provision of government jobs for sportspersons who secure medals in national and international competitions. The policy document lays thrust on creating a vibrant incentivized sports ecosystem through strategic interventions for sports in the Union Territory. The basic cannons of the policy are to ‘Scout’, ‘Engage’, ‘Facilitate’, and ‘Recognize’.
The sports policy reflects the concern and keenness of the current dispensation, led by LG, Manoj Sinha, towards encouraging sports at both rural and urban levels while ensuring the engagement of all.
The endeavour is to facilitate players of Jammu and Kashmir in getting ample sporting experience throughout the year besides extending opportunities for adequate exposure to youth outside the Union Territory.