Tightening noose over non-functional associations of the Union Territory, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council will ensure that the interests of the players in various disciplines won’t be allowed to be jeopardized due to callousness of de-funct sports entities.

Several decisions were taken to streamline the functioning of the sports associations at an emergent meeting here this afternoon.

Terming the decisions as significant step towards making J&K hub of sports caliber and competence, Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, said that the sports activities under no circumstances shall stop as it tantamount to fiddling with the career of our youth. The dynamics of sports has changed and it is no more only a means of recreation, it is now a career option and fiddling with it means fiddling with the careers of thousands, he maintained.

“The J&K’s first sports policy envisages that all the hardworking athletes should get their due at the culmination of their active sports career as they begin the next phase of their life. We shall see to it that all players get a platform to showcase their talent which may make them eligible for the government job or a cash prize to start the other important phase of their career”, he added.

Sarmad Hafeez said that by way of sports policy, the government created a sports ecosystem through strategic interventions which encompassed five levels of progression and the sports activities at the base has an important role to play. He said that the defunct associations for unknown reasons have ceased to function and this shall not be tolerated anymore.

It was decided in the meeting presided over by Secretary, J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull, that all the sports activities under the scope of any de-registered, de-recognized as well as non-functional associations shall be brought within the ambit of flagship programme, “My Youth My Pride” which is aimed at taking sports to the doorsteps and tap the sports talent on ground.

Secretary said, “Although the basic purpose of these sports associations was to identify talent and ensure its grooming besides facilitate the talented lot by way of fielding them for national and international teams but few associations have deviated from the standards and are draining their energies in matters not related to sports”.

Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Joint Secretary Sports Council said that 36th national Games are being conducted in Gujarat and there are many disciplines where J&K has not sent its team because association is either suspended or not functional but we cannot take this hands down now. We have worked out a plan and that is going to be implemented soon, he added.

While elaborating on modalities to revive the sports activities in J&K, Sports Council official said that Billiards and Snooker activities shall start soon in Sher-i-Kashmir Indoor Sports Complex’s Sports Club as the concerned association is defunct from quite some time now. Erstwhile Kayaking, Canoeing and lawn tennis associations have been suspended for want of fresh elections. The Yogasana Association stands derecognized by the government of India and new recognized Yogasana Sports Association shall come into being in the Union Territory soon but in the meantime Yogasana competitions under My youth My pride programme are being organized across J&K by Sports Council. Besides, the Handball Association is battling some dispute but the activities shall go ahead and players will not suffer on this account.

Similarly, the role of other defunct associations like Water Skiing Association, Ball Badminton, Carrom, Baseball, Cycle-Polo, Basketball, Tennikoit, Korfball, Softball, Roller Skating, Golf, Karate and Squash Rackets Association shall be performed by Sports Council. We will conduct, organize and monitor the activities besides scouting for the sports talent, the official added.

Meanwhile, continuing with the My youth My pride sports activities calendar, Poonch hosted hockey for both boys and girls while the Cricket Tournament in Kathua has reached the semifinal stage and four teams have qualified to clash for the title. In district Reasi, a volleyball tournament commenced today in which eight teams are participating.

Also, the athletic meet in Smailpur, Samba entered the second day.

Events in junior, sub-junior and senior categories are being held in which more than three hundred athletes are participating.

The Fencing and Table Tennis competition in Samba was in progress besides reports of sports activities from other districts under my Youth My Pride programme were also pouring in.

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