By Vishal Bharti
Jammu, Dec 29 (UNI) Despite Covid-19, sports achieved a new peak in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021.
The tireless efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council ensured that more than 1.5 lakh athletes created a new sports environment across the Union Territory.
According to official figures accessed by UNI, the Sports Council — the highest body catering sports in J&K — touched the lives of 150,000 athletes and sports enthusiasts.
A sustained campaign of sports and a drive against banned drugs proved a boon as a large number of youths got training and participated in national and international events in different disciplines.
A Sports Council official said the medal tally of J&K at the national level competitions this year in 14 disciplines was outstanding: 73 Gold, 90 Silver and 146 Bronze medals.
“For the first time in the history of J&K, 8,500 athletes participated at District and Divisional levels in sustained league matches in football, hockey, volleyball and kabaddi,” said the official.
Moreover, 26,000 youths benefitted from online coaching programmes and fitness skills at home in disciplines like judo, gymnastics, hockey, fencing, yoga, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, football, cricket, weightlifting, wushu, netball and chess.
Attendance of trainees across the outdoor fields and stadiums was around 6,000 on weekdays and weekends it was 35,000 people in all stadiums across the UT, said the official.
A total of 8,900 athletes participated in the Annual UT level championships held in Jammu and Kashmir.
Also, 280 athletes from 20 states and UTs took part in the 7th National Ice Stock Sports Championship held at Gulmarg in Kashmir in January this year. J&K emerged the champion.
This year, 500 athletes from Sher-i-Khas took part in Downtown Roller Skating and Rollball camp at Radapora Stadium Khanyar, Srinagar.
A national coaching camp was organized for the Indian to train for the qualifying round of Olympics in March. Forty participants from states and UT’s attended.
Some 2,000 youths participated in cricket tournaments under floodlights at Ganderbal Stadium, Bemina field and Bandipora Stadium.
“Football being the major attraction, coaching was conducted at grassroot level in 10 district centers and 1,750 talented youths were enrolled for sustained training,” the official said.
A total of 500 players registered their participation in hockey coaching-cum-competitions conducted at Srinagar, Baramulla, Jammu and Poonch stadiums.
Youths from downtown Srinagar, the border areas and south Kashmir were engaged in kabaddi, volleyball and other local games.
District level competitions were held at Jammu, Udhampur, Samba, Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua, Srinagar, Pulwama, Budgam, Bandipora, Shopian, Anantnag and Baramulla. More than 3,000 took part.
Water sports coaching, mostly for girls, was imparted at the Water Sports Centre, Dal Lake. Over 1,000 athletes received training.
Khelo India’s 2nd Edition National Winter Games, inaugurated by the Prime Minister through e-message video, was organized at Gulmarg in February-March in which 1,200 athletes from 27 States and UTs participated.
J&K emerged on top in the medals tally.
The Senior National Soft Tennis Championship was hosted for the first time in Srinagar in March 2021 in which 390 athletes participated. J&K finished 3rd.
About 1,500 athletes from 32 States and UTs joined the Senior, Junior and Sub Junior National Pencak Silat Championships at Indoor Stadium Pologround, Srinagar, in March. J&K emerged the champion.
The sports activities were carried out as a tool to wean away youths from banned drugs, terror related activities and stone pelting.
World class stadiums were established at M A Stadium, Jammu, and Bakhshi Stadium, Srinagar, to pave the way for international matches in cricket and football.
Largescale development of synthetic turfs for hockey, volleyball, football, squash, rugby, tennis, basketball and badminton took place.
A state of the art gymnastic academy came up at M. A Stadium, Jammu, to provide a platform to youths.
A Premier League was organized in football, volleyball, kabaddi and hockey.
“All the activities are monitored by J&K Sports Council. The players are being registered with Aadhaar Number. Each activity is monitored and uploaded on the portal, attracting sports enthusiasts,” the official said.
UNI VBH MR