Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated Water Sports Centre under PMDP scheme at Nehru Park in Dal Lake here. The Lt Governor also launched the International Standard Water Sports Equipments on the occasion.
According to official statement, Sinha said that for encouraging water sports in Jammu region as well, a similar Water Sports Centre is coming up at Ranjit Sagar lake in Basohli.
“My aim is to provide world class training to our youngsters with state of the art sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir to make it one of the most impressive and modern sporting venues in India. I am personally looking at a comprehensive sports policy, access to the best of the coaches who would help our sportsperson to polish off their skill sets and train them for international competition across a range of sports,” he said. “We’ll set up a Water Sports Academy also, in which our focus would be to provide proper mentoring and monitoring to our talented athletes. I am sure that with such facilities and provisions, an Olympic medal won’t be a distant dream,” the Lt Governor maintained.
“I met coach Bilquis Mir and as a coach, she has trained a large number of youngsters and made the tri-colour proud by representing India as a sportsperson and also as a judge in the International sporting events,” he said.
“Along with Bilquis, Aadil had also started from the Dal Lake. J&K has produced a number of popular water sports athletes including Zahoor, Ishfaq Hussain, Wasim Raja, Irfan Ahmad, Shaukat Mir, Wilayat Hussain, Akhtar Hussain, Ghulam Mustafa and Farooq Ahmad among various others,” he added.
The Lt Governor called on all the stakeholders to put in extraordinary efforts to nurture the sporting talent, especially among the youth.
“I hope more corporate groups come ahead and sponsor water sports and its athletes, he said. He also underlined the importance of preservation of the Dal Lake through sporting activities.”
Impressive Paddle past marked the opening of the event followed by the cultural performances. The occasion also witnessed race competitions in water sports, besides demonstrations of various water sports and activities.
Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lt Governor; Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Government, Agriculture/Horticulture, & Cooperatives department and President, J&K Association for Rowing & Sculling; Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Youth Services and Sports, Tourism and Culture Departments; Naseem Javaid Choudhary, Secretary, J&K Sports Council; prominent sports personalities including Bilquis Mir and Zahoor Ahmad Latoo and large number of people were present on the occasion.