JK unique with 94 Khelo India Centres, indoor stadia in every district: Sarmad Hafeez
UT home to best gymnasts, fencers: Secretary JK Sports Council
JAMMU: The Department of Youth Services and Sports (YSS) organized a one-day Youth Services and Sports Conclave 2023 at Convention Centre in Jammu and Kashmir, with Secretary YSS, Sarmad Hafeez as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarmad Hafeez praised J&K for being the Union Territory regularly producing international standard players in fencing, gymnastics, roller skating, cricket, and other sports. He also called for facilitating the interaction of such achievers with young children to encourage enhanced participation in sports, recommending that they be made mentors of school children.
Sarmad Hafeez exhorted upon the District Youth Services & Sports Officers to conduct interactive sessions in all schools including private institutions to develop a thriving sports culture and promote regular collaboration between institutions. He suggested instating steps like holding annual sports events in schools to achieve this.
Hafeez also called for a monthly progress report regarding activities conducted in districts to promote and conduct sports. He said that the department is well equipped with infrastructure including 94 Khelo India centers in J&K, at least one indoor stadium in each district besides a playfield in every panchayat.
He emphasized the need for spreading awareness about SO-12 of the government under which 5 gazetted jobs besides numerous non-gazetted jobs have been earmarked for exceptional sportspersons of J&K.
Hafeez impressed upon the department to promote the participation of women and older persons in sports activities, in line with the Chief Secretary’s vision, and to identify and promote native sports.
He emphasized the need to impart moral education among the students besides focusing on physical education. He asked the departmental staff to take innovative steps to encourage school children’s participation in sports activities. He also congratulated all stakeholders for the increased participation in recent years.
Secretary assured stakeholders that there is no dearth of funds for promoting sports activities, noting that sports can invigorate creativity and enthusiasm in youth, help avoid drug addictions, impart confidence, and improve mental health. He also suggested the department to impart life skills such as life-saving and emergency response skills.
On the occasion, a presentation was also given by DG YSS, Subhash C Chibber through which he revealed the department’s achievements, its planned activities, and the target of increased participation in sports activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary JK Sports Council, Nuzhat Gul, said that Jammu & Kashmir has made remarkable strides in sports. Over the years, the UT has hosted 22 national-level events including the Khelo India Winter Games and the International Pencak Silat championship.
Pertinently, about 25,000 children have represented the UT in 56 disciplines at the national level, winning 687 national-level medals and 38 international-level medals. Besides, J&K has produced some of the best fencers, gymnasts, Olympians, and Paralympians.
In the past two and a half years, the department has delivered 700 projects including 60 light stadiums across the UT and is currently working on nine Astro Turf projects.
Nuzhat Gul stressed on the need to create awareness regarding the broad contours of the Jammu & Kashmir Sports Policy.
She called upon the DYSSO field staff to identify local talents, ensure a fair selection of young sportspersons and identify niche talents of particular areas of the UT. She urged upon them to celebrate every local achiever and encourage them to hone their talents further.
Those present at the event included Special Secretary, Naresh Kumar and Rakesh Mangotra; Director Economics & Statistics, Ashu Gupta; Additional Secretary YSS, Neelam Khajuria, Joint Director YSS Jammu, Suram Chand Sharma and Dy Director Central YSS, Jatinder Mishra besides other officers.
The event saw participation from various stakeholders including District Youth Services and Sports Officers, Zonal Physical Education Officers, and Physical Education academic staff.