Srinagar, Jan 29: The recent decision by the J&K Government Administrative Council to start the Lieutenant Governor's Rolling Cultural and Sports Trophies for government employees has been met with excitement by J&K's young athletes as it will expand the state's sports industry as a whole.
As part of the initiative, exclusive teams would be formed for female employees to encourage them also.
The AC approved the proposal for the participation of employees in scores of sporting disciplines like cricket, football, volleyball, table tennis, and hockey, which would be organised in close association with the General Administration Department and the Youth Services and Sports Department (J&K Sports Council).
The announcement has been welcomed by the youth and sports fraternity with the hope that it will develop sports in J&K. With the initiative, almost every department in J&K will be forming its employees' teams in the sports disciplines of cricket, football, volleyball, table tennis and hockey. With the passage of time departments will be inculcating talented professional players each year in their teams in order to strengthen the squads.
"Great news. We discussed the need for employee cricket in detail last year with Secretary Sports Council. And finally, Government has approved it at the topmost level," said former J&K Ranji trophy cricketer Samiullah Beigh.
"Once departments compete regularly, this will create options for employment of Sportspersons of the valley. Just like there is sports quota recruitment in AGs office, Income tax office, FCI etc. same shall be routine for all departments of J&K," Samiullah who works as an engineer in Jal Shakti department said.
Veteran Sports broadcaster Sajid Hamid said that this decision will be helpful for future generations.
"Not a bad idea. This will have a far-reaching effect on the personality development of the young generation so that their energies are channelised towards the betterment of society besides generating employment opportunities for these boys," Hamid said.
Former Director Sports Islamia College Dr Altaf ur Rehman said that "this decision will generate employment options for budding sportspersons."
"Great idea to introduce competitive sports for employees as some of whom are under stress because of new immerging work culture. It will also pave way for employment options for young and budding sportsmen," Dr Altaf said.
During the eighties Departmental teams in Football and Cricket formed the major basis of sports culture in J&K. Through these teams, J&K went on to produce a number of International stars in football. However, with the passage of time, departments started to wind up their teams, hence denting the overall sports culture of J&K.
"Youngsters need motivation and need some sort of incentives. The departmental sports structure will generate interest amoung youth to focus their energy on the particular sports discipline as they now will have the hope of reaching somewhere if they do well," said former National medallist Umar Hamza.
A young player said that he sees this step as a hope for a better future.
"This time they have given nod for the start of tournaments for employees. I hope with the passage of time it becomes a regular feature and these departments start including professional players in their squads like AG Office does," said a cricketer Sameer.