The maiden mega water sports talent hunt cum basic coaching camp concluded at water sports centre Nehru Park here on Wednesday.
The event was organized by J&K Water Sports Kayaking and Canoeing Association. It had started on May 11. Nearly 80 trainees hailing from Pulwama, Anantnag, Bandipora, Kulgam and Srinagar participated in the camp.
IGP Armed J&K Police, Shafkat Ali Watali was the chief guest on the concluding function while as MLC and President J&K Water Sports Kayaking and Canoeing Association Firdous Tak was guest of honor. Among others present were Chief Sports Officer, Haji Abdul Qayoom and water sports coach Bilquis Mir.
During the 6-day event, players were imparted basic training in kayaking, canoeing, dragon boat as well as swimming. It was first such event held in water sports that had targeted to train players from rural area of Kashmir.
The camp was conducted by Association with the support of J&K Police and Directorate of Youth Services and Sports.
Speaking on the occasion, IGP Shafkat Ali Watali hailed organizers for their efforts in making water sports popular in State.
"We are proud to be part of this first ever talent hunt cum awareness camp. The aim of the camp is to promote water sports in the entire state. We have talent and need to explore it. This type of camp will definitely help us to achieve that goal," he said.
MLC Firdous Tak said that association would conduct more such events and would promote water sports in every district of the state.
"J&K has number of water bodies but we have failed to tap and promote water sports. Over the years this sport has been confined mostly to Nehru park, Nigeen or Manasbal lakes. But now we have decided to establish water sports centers in all parts of the state," Tak said.
International water sports coach, Bilquis Mir under whose supervision was held said that she was delighted to see natural talent at display.
She said that it is her dream to take water sports out of the confined zone of Dal Lake and make it an all state sport like in European counties.