J&K hopes to ride sports to mainstream youth

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, October 5: The Manoj Sinha-led Jammu and Kashmir administration is pitching sports to the centre stage in the Union Territory, with aims to mainstream the youth, by scaling up the sporting infrastructure.
“In the last three years, government has ensured unprecedented progress in the establishment of world class infrastructure, career progression as well as future of the players. The new policies and initiatives of government has established an enabling environment for sportspersons,” said a senior official.

The UT administration claims that while “merely two to three lakh youth used to get opportunities for participation in sports every year, but J&K Government set a new record and 17.5 lakh youth who were provided the opportunity to participate in sporting activities last year”. It added that the government has set itself 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 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,” stated the official.

The UT administration claims that 22 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.

“As many as 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,” added the official.

The new sports policy in J&K aims at promoting sports in the UT by developing sports infrastructure and incentivising sportspersons by incorporating various annual awards like award for excellence in sports for 10 sportsperson, J&K Khel Protsahana Award for sports association, and two veterans/ experienced sportspersons/organisers or referees, Parshuram Award for five best coaches in different disciplines.

“The sports policy announces 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,” said the official.

Further, the winners in all recognised national competitions and National School Games in various sports disciplines will be granted specified scholarships, added the official.

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