Incentive-based sports initiatives in pipeline

CM calls upon youth to take sports as career

SRINAGAR: Urging youth to explore the ever-growing world of sports, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday vowed to nurture talent and rekindle the desire amongst the youth for excelling in sports.

He was speaking at the 55th meeting of the J&K Sports Council, in the Civil Secretariat, here today. 

Saeed emphasized upon playing the game rather than watching it and promised a new incentive based initiatives for the youth who pursue a career in sports. “We will start with schools and colleges, which are ideal places to instil a sporting culture, and identify raw talent for further grooming,” he stated.    

Till the office-bearers are elected formally, the governing body, as an interim measure, also unanimously chose amongst its Members, Javed Shah, Sports Promoter, as interim Secretary, Zameer Thakur, President of J&K Football Association as Joint Secretary, Kashmir and Shiv Kumar Sharma, President J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association, as Joint Secretary, Jammu, to run the Council’s day-to-day affairs.  

Minister for IT, Youth Services & Sports & Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, Principal Secretary, Planning & Development, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Secretary, Technical Education, YS&S, Hirdesh Kumar, besides nominated Members of  J&K Sports Council attended the meeting.    

Asking the restructured sports administration to motivate youth, Mufti Sayeed, who is also the President of the J&K Sports Council, said the new generation seems more inclined towards watching rather than playing sports. The Government recently reconstituted the State Sports Council by nominating 29 members who have excelled in the field of sports.  

Laying stress upon a new competitive framework which focuses on creation of quality infrastructure in schools and colleges in the first instance, the Chief Minister said a talented youth needs a good coach and support from his family and Government to prove his mettle, both at national and international levels. “We should set our eyes on the National Games to improve our scores and then aim higher,” he said, while highlighting the need for taking extra-curricular activities in schools and colleges beyond the rituals and symbolism.

The Chief Minister directed members of the Sports Council to interact with physical teachers and staff of schools, colleges and universities to get feedback for devising a ‘Sports Itinerary’ in which inter-school, inter-college, inter-district and inter-division level events in all categories of sports are organized as regular annual features. “Sports Council should also have an eye for spotting talent which can be honed for achieving something big. Who knows we have huge talent, as good as any in the country, hiding somewhere,” he said.

Placing high priority upon improvement in condition of the sports stadia and playgrounds, Mufti Sayeed tasked the State Sports Council to depute teams for making on-the-spot assessment so that renovation and repair work is completed without further delay. 

Earlier, Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, informed the Chief Minister that Rs.6 crore have been released for carrying out urgent repairs and renovation of the sports infrastructure, including stadia. “The Department is also expecting Rs.200 crore special package from the Centre, besides Rs. 25 crore which is being pursued with Relief and Rehabilitation Department under World Bank package for restoring flood-damaged infrastructure,” he said and added that DCs will now function as Chairman of revised District Sports Councils as directed by the Chief Minister.  

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