Srinagar, Apr 2: Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta flagged off the first ever Open Kayaking and Canoeing Marathon Race in river Jhelum organised by J&K Sports Council here Saturday.
Around 100 participants, included 10 female athletes, took part in the marathon, which started from the famous Zero Bridge to the Ganpatyar area of Srinagar. The race had 4 categories which included Senior, Junior, K1 and K2.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary highlighted about the importance of improved and world-class sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir for organising such activities. He said that the government is fully committed to developing sports facilities in the union territory so that youth emerge as top performers across the country.
The Chief Secretary remarked that the government is keen to organize various sports activities in the UT to explore and hone the talent of youth in the disciple of the sports be it cricket, football, water sports or any other sports activity. He said that the aim of the government is that youth from JK should represent the country at Olympics and other international events and every support will be provided in this regard to every sports loving person.
Dr. Mehta further said that water sports will be promoted in J&K owing to the presence of natural water resources available. He mentioned that water sports was started last year in Ranjit Sagar dam and this year we are targeting Jhelum, Manasbal, Nigeen, Wular, so that maximum number of such events will be organised this year.
The Chief Secretary stated that last year 17 lakh youth had participated in different sports activities which in itself is a record. “This year we are expecting a huge increase in the numbers and around 35 lakh youth will be roped in for participating in different sports activities”, he added.
Dr. Mehta underscored that the future of sports in Jammu and Kashmir is very bright and the mission of the government is to inculcate sports culture amongst youth. He said that the government wants JK to emerge as a sports power house in the country and the youth are doing good at various national and international events.
The Chief Secretary observed that it is good to see that youth from JK are actively pursuing their career in sports and appealed youth to get in touch with the Mission Youth for coaching and other support needed so as to come out as best performers in the country.
Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, said that this event was organized as part of ‘My Youth, My Pride’ initiative through which the council is organizing different activities for youth engagement across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. She urged the society to join hands and help in promoting sports among the youth and taking sports on a mission mode.
Nuzhat Gul added that government has been providing its unflinching support to develop top class sports infrastructure for coaching and other activities across the Jammu and Kashmir.
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