Jammu: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Youth Services and Sports Department and take stock of achievements registered so far in the current financial year.
It was informed that the department is organizing various sports activities and undertaking several infrastructural projects across Jammu and Kashmir to promote a sporting culture in the Union territory.
During the current financial year, the J&K Sports Council organized various UT, Divisional, and District level competitions and engaged 8.70 lakh athletes which saw a 600% increase from the financial year 2017-18.
The Council also inaugurated a state-of-the-art Gymnastics Academy at M.A Stadium Jammu which is fully equipped with world-class and international federation-approved apparatuses. It is the first-ever such academy in the country which has international standard facilities for artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics in one place.
The Department will be organizing 15 national-level events in the next quarter including the National Snow Rugby Championship at Gulmarg, Sub-Junior National Soft Tennis Championship, National Thang-Tha Championship at Srinagar, Junior National Volleyball Championship at Jammu, and Federation Cup Wushu Championship at Srinagar.
Under Khelo India Scheme, 2 Centres of Excellence have been established- one for fencing in Jammu and another for Kayaking and Canoeing at Srinagar. Similarly, 40 Small Khelo India District Level Centers are coming up across Jammu and Kashmir which will be completed by March 2022. These Centers will provide sporting facilities for at least 2 disciplines per district from badminton, basketball, boxing, football, handball, hockey, judo, kabaddi, karate, korfball, penchak silat, table tennis, taekwondo, thang-ta and wushu.
Further, to promote sports among people with disabilities (PwDs), the Department is organizing various tournaments including Blind National Cricket Tournament, wheelchair race and carom, among others, under the theme ‘Know me for my Abilities, not my Disabilities’.
Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package, the Sports Council has completed 22 projects so far at an estimated cost of Rs. 175.04 crore. It will be completing another 8 projects by March 2022.
Additionally, the Directorate of Youth Services and Sports organized various school games and extra-curricular activities to engage 5.60 lakh students and players in sporting activities. The Department will be organizing YSS Cup Tournaments in 4 disciplines of kabaddi, kho-kho, volleyball, and cricket at block, district and UT levels with an expected participation from 11,500 registered players.
The Chief Secretary directed the Department to complete all high-standard sporting facilities under PMDP and ensure their functioning in every district by March 2022. So far, 14 such multi-purpose indoor halls have been completed and the remaining 8 are under progress. Besides, the Department was also asked to ensure functioning of at least one floodlit stadium in all districts to allow for evening tournaments and events.
Emphasizing the quality of training and guidance being provided to the aspiring athletes and players, Dr. Mehta asked the Department to work towards ensuring greater participation of UT’s youth in various national and international events. It was informed that Arif Muhammad Khan, an athlete from Kashmir has qualified for the winter Olympics in Beijing and is currently being provided financial assistance of Rs. 10 lakh for training in Austria.