Srinagar: Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurated Khelo India State Centre of Excellence for Rowing discipline at the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council Water Sports Academy in Srinagar on Saturday.
He was joined by Manoj Sinha, Lt. Governor, J&K, Farooq Khan, Advisor to LG of J&K and Alok Kumar, Secretary, Youth Services, J&K for the ceremony at the Nehru Park in Dal Lake, Srinagar.
Rijiju had announced earlier this year during the Khelo India Winter Games that the Union Sports Ministry would open a state-of-the-art water sports facility in Srinagar. All procedures are now in place and the money has been allocated.
“It’s a pleasure to come at the Dal Lake to change the lives of the young sportspersons here. There is a lot of potential and we from the Sports Ministry and J&K Council are doing our best to help the youngsters here. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a lot of plans in mind for Jammu and Kashmir. This will be a great opportunity for our future champions,” Rijiju said.
He also announced a host of new competitions at the Valley and mentioned that the J&K Council are doing their best to make the Water Sports facility in Srinagar one of the best in the world. “I am so happy that Manoj Sinha ji and his team are doing their best to make the Water Sports facility one of the best in the world. From this year onwards, we will start a Khelo India Women’s football league here and all kinds of support will be given by the Sports Ministry. In October-November, we will organize a marathon competition as well in Pahalgam,” Rijiju added.
At present, the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence at J&K Sports Council Water Sports Academy in Srinagar will focus in the sports discipline of Rowing. They will be provided a first-time grant of Rs 145.16 lakhs and an annual recurring grant of Rs 96.17 lakhs. This is one of the two KISCEs from Jammu & Kashmir itself, with the Maulana Azad Stadium for Fencing discipline in Jammu being the other. A consolidated amount of Rs. 5.08 crores have been approved for the 2 centres in Jammu & Kashmir.
There are currently 24 KISCEs across 23 States and Union Territories and each of them focuses on Olympics sports discipline. This is an ongoing endeavour to scale-up existing centres from the States and Union Territories to the world standard level keeping in mind the big picture of getting India excelled at the Olympics.