Srinagar, Sep 3: Jammu and Kashmir's strong socioeconomic growth is ushering in a qualitative change in the sports sector, enabling sportspersons to achieve and demonstrate excellence, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday.
He said two "biggest challenges" that beset J&K in the were the "piecemeal approach" to sports activities prior to 2019, and the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.
"Today, J-K UT has regained confidence and we are creating an equitable and inclusive sports and recreation culture with modern infrastructure and training comparable to the best in the country," he said.
Highlighting the sporting events organised under the 'My Youth My Pride' in 22 disciplines in the Kashmir Division and 18 in the Jammu Division, the Lt governor said the programme is turning out to be a solid forum for sportspersons to bring glory to themselves as well as the community.
"My Youth My Pride is dedicated to advancing sports by empowering young men and women. It has inculcated a winner's instinct among youth and kindled hopes of an ascent in sporting performance in national and international games," he said.
The J-K Sports Council has successfully completed many key infrastructure projects which are playing an essential role in training the youth in different sports, Sinha said.
"Our strong socioeconomic growth is succeeding in bringing a qualitative change in sports sector and enabling our sportspersons to demonstrate their excellence," he said.
Lauding the efforts of Sports Associations and Sports Council for regular engagement of athletes and reviving the culture of night football matches in various districts, the Lt governor said it was a matter of pride that thousands of athletes, coaches and sports officials around the UT are making valuable contributions and ensuring path-breaking achievements.
"Gymnastic Academy, Football Academy, Cricket Academy and Water Sports Centre have a plan to engage around five lakh youth and children. This gives us the hope and confidence that by creating the right environment for the young generation, we can produce best talents and win prestigious sporting honours. Today our athletes can dream big and fulfill their dreams and ambitions, the Lt Governor said.
"We should all make concerted efforts to motivate youth to put their best efforts in games so that the J-K UT benefits through a vigorous and dynamic sporting talent pool and sportspersons can become crucial partners in the development journey," he said.
During Phase-I of the My Youth My Pride' more than 8.5 Lakh youth from across the UT had participated, while 13.74 Lakh youth are aimed to be engaged in Phase-II.