Night sports light up Kashmir; Govt aims to engage 15 lakh youth
Source: Twitter @JKSportsCouncil
Srinagar: Post Unlock 2.0, night sports have become a new rage in Kashmir.
While football is the most preferred sport, the government has plans of engaging 15 lakh youth in different sporting activities across Jammu and Kashmir.
“Scores of youth are presently playing games, mostly football. All the grounds that have floodlight facilities are witnessing quite a few local tournaments. After the easing of Covid restrictions, matches are happening everywhere,” Principal Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Alok Kumar told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they were planning to involve both students and professional players in the coming days.
“While we have received an overwhelming response, we have taken the task of engaging both students and professional players. We have set a target of bringing 15 lakh youth to the field. Besides the main sports grounds and stadiums, there will be matches in Panchayat and school grounds and indoor stadiums as well. Different games like football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, etc will be played. Both day and night matches will be held across the 20 districts of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
An official said maximum action was being witnessed in Srinagar city,
“After the evenings, Anjum Ground Qamarwari, TRC Ground and the ground at Rajouri Kadal among others come alive with footballing action. Besides the 2nd Phase of Premier UT League 2020-21, different mohalla level football tournaments are being played. Besides the players, locals too come to watch the matches to support their respective sides. There is a festive atmosphere on the grounds. We have plans of optimizing the floodlights and there are plans of introducing tennis ball cricket also,” the official said.
“The Lieutenant Governor has already passed instructions to boost sporting activities across the union territory. We are also striving to build a strong community sports model where sporting assets are looked after by the local citizens,” he added.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Secretary, J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gul said they had an elaborate plan to involve the community in sports and development of sports in J&K.
“Yes we plan to involve community across J&K in development of sports. We will call it back-to-community programme wherein citizens become the custodians and stakeholders in our sports infrastructure and development of youth. We also want our local boys and girls to become heroes and inspire others to join them,” Nuzhat Gul said.
Alok Kumar too said the government was encouraging the local clubs.
“We are encouraging the local football players and clubs to play…we hold their hands and make them play,” he said.
The Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council (J&KSC) had earlier this month launched a calendar of sports events to be held in the union territory from July 2021 up to March 2022 during which over 3400 matches are scheduled to be held.