Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today said that the aim is to provide high standard training to young boys and girls of Jammu and Kashmir and at least 15 lakh youth would get opportunities to participate in various sports activities.
Speaking on the inauguration of Khelo India Centre of Excellence “Water Sports Academy”at Nehru Park, he said sports activities and their promotion are an important tool for social change.
The Lt Governor called upon the sportspersons to be the ambassadors of the country and its development.
“Jammu and Kashmir sportspersons are the brand ambassadors of India’s growing strength, its soft power, and the ambassadors for development and peace. As a symbol of youth power, our players are giving the message of peace and progress. Our water sports athletes will work towards peace, progress, and social harmony with this spirit”, he said.
“We are aiming to provide high standard training to young boys and girls of Jammu and Kashmir in all 53 disciplines of Olympic Games this year. At least 15 lakh youth of J&K would get opportunities to participate in various sports activities,” he added.
During the event, Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju was also present along with the LG.
Sinha expressed his gratitude towards Kiren Rijiju and thanked Central government, for adopting the Water Sports Centre as Khelo India Centre of Excellence.
“The inauguration of the Khelo India Centre of Excellence is a moment of great happiness as the state-of-the-art centre of Excellence would give wings to the potential of many athletes. It is because of the immense potential of local athletes that the Central Government decided to develop this Water Sports Centre under Khelo India Centre of Excellence Scheme,” he said.
Dedicating the Water Sports Centre of Excellence to public, the Lt Governor observed that the new facility will add another feather to the already existing infrastructure of water sports.
“The aim of Khelo India is to covert the basic structure of sports centres into a state-of-the-art sports facility with modern equipment, top-class coaches so that in the next 10 years, India would reach top ranks in Olympics,” he added.
He said the second Water Sports Centre is coming up at Ranjit Sagar Dam in Kathua to promote water sports in Jammu division, and hoped that it would also be adopted as the Khelo India Centre of Excellence.
He said that around 8,500 players are estimated to participate in the upcoming Premier League in four disciplines – Football, Kabaddi, Volleyball and Hockey.
Speaking on the budgetary provision for sports, Sinha maintained that in the recent budget, an amount of Rs 513 crore has been kept for Youth Empowerment and Sports.
He said, “We are working at many levels in the field of sports in Jammu and Kashmir. Our foremost aim is to identify the grassroots talent, then provide them with right training and environment, and select promising players in a transparent manner for national and international tournaments.”
Meanwhile, the Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju assured full sport of Union Ministry in development of sports in J&K.
“For the promotion of football amongst the women folks, we are planning to conduct Women Football league in the region,” he added.
On this occasion, various water Sports activities, demonstrations showcasing water sports talent of J&K including kayaking, Surf Riding, Canoe Slalom, Dal lifestyle, Water skiing , Canoe Sprint Race, swimming, besides, cultural programmes were also presented to mark the event.