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  • 2nd Pandit Prem Nath Dogra Memorial Football Tournament declared open

JAMMU: Sports play a decisive role in character building of a person and youth must take up sports to lead a healthy and disciplined life. Minister for Education, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari stated this during the inaugural ceremony of 2nd Pandit Prem Nath Dogra Memorial Football Gold Cup Tournament organized by State Sports Club, J&K (SSC) under JKFA at Mini Stadium, Parade ground here.

A total of 28 teams are participating in the tournament including 6 teams from outside the state. The Winning team of the tournament will be rewarded with the cash prize of Rs 50,000 whereas runners up will take away the prize of Rs 31,000. In the opening match, State Football Academy (SFA) defeated Young Rovers in penalty shootouts. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the sports not only leads to better health but also builds character, promotes team spirit among the youth and guides them towards a disciplined life.

 

Emphasising on nurturing sports talent at the very beginning, the Minister called for promoting sports culture in schools and further stressed on organising more such sports events on the lines of talent hunt contests to pave platform for the local players to display their talent and encourage them to play at national and international level. Stressing on necessity of developing sports infrastructure in the state, the Minister highlighted several initiatives taken by the government to strengthen JK’s sports structure. He said that government has taken concerted measures to provide necessary sports facilities and opportunities to nurture the sports talent in the State.

 

The Minister said that there is a need to put up collective efforts on the part of government, senior players, parents, teachers and sports organizations to enhance the sports scenario in the state. The Minister appreciated MLA Rajesh Gupta, who is also the Chairman of State Sports Club for organising the tournament with an objective of providing an opportunity to the youth to get associated with the sports.

 

“Football is a popular sport in the J&K and with the teams from outside the State to participate in the tournament will act as a encouraging factor for the local players and inculcate a sense of great competitiveness among them “, the Minister affirmed. Speaking on the occasion, MLA Rajesh Gupta welcomed the decisions of dedicating the Mini Stadium ground to Pandit Prem Nath Dogra and organising the tournament at government level from the next year. He also showed his gratitude towards Minister for Information Technology, Technical Education and Youth Services & Sports, Imran Raza Ansari for granting 70 lakhs for the upgradation of the ground.

 

Pertinently, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh is the Chief Patron of State Sports Club. MLA, Sat Sharma, MLC, Ashok Khajuria, VC, JK State Advisory Board for Welfare and Development of OBCs, Rashpaul Verma,Secretary J&K State Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, President DFA Sheikh Mehmood, President, SSC, Rakesh Khanna, Gen. Secretary, SSC, Naresh Dogra, Assistant Cultural Officer, DIPR, Jeevan Sharma, besides senior officials of State Sports Council, JKFA,SSC, Police Department, senior political leaders, Baldev Baloria,Vinay Gupta, Ayodhya Gupta along with veteran football players and prominent citizens from  all walks of life were also present on the occasion. R.P Singh conducted the proceedings for the inaugural ceremony. Artists form Cultural wing of DIPR enthralled the audiences through their performances.