Spaces for sports

We need to provide good sports infrastructure to our youth
Spaces for sports
A football match being played in Srinagar's Synthetic Turf TRC ground. [Representational Image] File: Haseeb Ibn Hameed for Greater Kashmir

As the news of various sportspersons from J&K performing at the highest level of the respective games pours in regularly, it generates interest in the new generation towards these games.

It is a great value addition to any game if someone from J&K reaches the top level and his impressive performance attracts media attention. Different cricket leagues conducted within Indian, and outside, have seen players form J&K doing well.

Similarly there are other games in which students from different schools win laurels, and thus leave a mark on the minds of those who are interested in those forms of sports. But in this atmosphere of enhanced interest in various games, one question haunts us all.

Where are the spaces available to our younger generation to play spot? Some decades back we had huge vacant spaces in every village and town of the valley, where children and youth of the locality would try their talent, and hone their sporting skills.

In the city itself, there were open spaces that would act as ever-ready grounds for youth.

It was from these spaces that the raw talent would emerge, and then after undergoing some degree of coaching at some professional level would excel in respective games. With those spaces vanishing, the future of sports in Kashmir is automatically getting darker.

So it the obligation on the concerned departments, and the government at large, to ensure that new spaces are created in different localities for sports activities. The departments can adopt a multi-pronged strategy where such spaces are made available in a variety of ways.

One, the grounds that are already available should be utilised to the optimum level by upgrading them, and even turning some of them into day and night grounds.

That would immediately increase the time of sporting activities. Two, there are many schools and other institutions that have ample spaces which can be utilised for various sporting activities. Such spaces can be used in a mutually beneficial way.

Three, the concerned departments can search for more spaces in far off areas and develop them into modern sports complexes. If all these steps are taken, we can provide a good sports infrastructure to our youth.

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