Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha declared open the Independence Day Sports Week Celebration-2021 by kick-starting inaugural Women’s Rugby & Football Exhibition Matches at TRC Synthetic Turf Football Stadium at Srinagar.

Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor remarked that – “There is no better way to start the Independence Day Sports Week Celebrations than having our talented female sportspersons displaying their abilities and showcasing their skills on this platform”.

The Lt Governor said that sports culture of J&K is developing with a new spirit of enthusiasm and the UT administration is fully committed to bringing out the best sporting talents to the fore.

Underscoring the interventions made by the J&K Government in the sports sector, the Lt Governor noted that 40 Khelo-India Centres are being established in all districts to give further impetus to sporting culture in J&K. To hone the abilities of our young talent, 22 Coaches, 11 each for Jammu and Kashmir division, have been appointed to provide them training and mentorship in various sports disciplines. Further, under PMDP, 44 Coaches and 22 Instructors will soon be recruited, added the Lt Governor.

In a major move to encourage the sportspersons from the UT, the Lt Governor announced Rs 5 lakh cash award for Rakesh Kumar, Archer from Katra, Reasi who has qualified for Tokyo Paralympics, scheduled to be held from 24th August 2021. Likewise, Rs 2 lakh cash award was also announced for world-renowned Rifle Shooter, Chain Singh from Doda.

J&K Government is working on a multi-pronged strategy for the promotion of sports in the region. We are developing state-of-the-art sports infrastructure and creating modern facilities for talented sportspersons of the UT. For the all-round development of youth, the government has allocated Rs 513 crore in the budget this year. The Department of Youth Services & Sports shall continue providing sustained handholding to the young budding sportspersons of the UT and would lay a solid platform for them to display their talent at higher levels, remarked the Lt Governor.

We have set a target of 17.5 lakh Boys & Girls to be engaged in various Sports activities across J&K this year, besides hosting 17 National Events in different sports disciplines with a target participation of around 12000 athletes from other States/UTs, he added.

Laying special emphasis on taking sports to grassroot level, the Lt Governor observed that playfields are being developed in all panchayats and have been linked with at least 2-3 sports activities. Alternative arrangements are being made where there is no playground, he added.

The Lt Governor also interacted with the participating sportspersons and conveyed his best wishes for their bright future.

Those present on the occasion were Sh. Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports; Sh. Pandurang K Pole Divisional Commissioner; Sh. Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir; Deputy Commissioner Kashmir; SSP Kashmir; and senior officers of the department.

Ms. Nuzhat Gul, Secretary J&K Sports Council was also present on the occasion.

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