Srinagar : In a first major step towards popularizing water sports in entire State, first, of its kind district level water sports Championship today commenced at Water Sports Centre Nehru Park.
In the first of its kind initiative around 350 players from Anantnag, Pulwama, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Srinagar and some players from Jammu districts of the state are taking part, the statement said.
The district-level championship commenced on 18th October and will continue till 20th October 2018, officials informed.
It is pertinent to mention here that water sports is an Olympic discipline sport that has given State, J&K maximum number of national medals has also been the source of livelihood for the players as hundreds of medalists have got Government jobs on the basis of their water sports achievements.
Bilques Mir, International Water Sports Coach who is the In-charge Water Sports Centre said, “the initiative has been taken place for the first time in the history. Reaching out to districts will identify the best rural talent who will shine at National/International levels.”
Pertinently, girls are equally participating in this championship as the player participation ratio remains 50:50. It is expected that more participation will be seen during the two days of the championship.
Meanwhile, a large group comprising of more than 3000 spectators surrounded the dal banks to watch the players competing in the games and were seen clapping for the youngsters which also boosted their morale.
Secretary, J&K State Sports Council interacted with the players at Nehru Park and encouraged them for the water sports and extended a hand of support in all ways.
“The district-level championship has been held to nurture the talent at grass-roots and it is happening for the first time where youngsters from various districts are participating in the camp,” said Secretary Sports Council, Dr Naseem Javaid Choudhary.
Dr Saleem Ur Rehman, D.G Youth Services and Sports graced the occasion as Guest of Honour and Shahid Mahmood, Deputy Director Employment was guest of honour on the occasion.
D.G Youth Services and Sports, Dr Saleem Ur Rehman said “It will provide a platform to the budding talents to compete at various levels. Talent identification is a must process for grooming them to achieve excellence at district levels and the same at the state and so on.”