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  • Inaugurates South Kashmir Sports Festival at Anantnag

ANANTNAG: Describing sports as an inseparable part of education, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Sunday said the focus on extra-curricular activities should be realistic and not a mere symbolic exercise. He said adequate funds, over and above the normal allocation, have been provided to the Youth Services & Sports Department for restoration of flood-damaged sports infrastructure. “Our children are blessed with great talent. It is imperative that the heads of the educational institutions provide them a platform to display their skills,” he said while stressing upon making games an essential part of the curriculum.

The Chief Minister was addressing a large gathering of people and sports lovers, after inaugurating the South Kashmir Sports Festival, at Government Degree College for Boys, here today.  Also present on the occasion were Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, Minister for IT, Youth Services & Sports, Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for PHE, I&FC, Abdul Majeed Padder, Member Parliament, Nazir Ahmad Laway, Legislators, Farooq Andrabi, Gulzar Ahmad, Abdul Rahim Rather, Altaf Kaloo and Abdul Majid Larm, Vice Chairman, J&K Wakf Board, Peer Mohammad Hussain, PDP South Coordinator, Mufti Sajad, noted cricketer and member of India A team, Pervez Rasool and former captain of Indian Women’s football team, Sona Chaudhary from Haryana.

Stating that a healthy mind rests only in a healthy body, the Chief Minister emphasized upon the importance of sports in overall personality development of our children. He said the government has made a new beginning by restructuring the State Sports Council by giving representation to those who have excelled in various sporting disciplines. “Sports has received the least attention and our capacities have been severely under-utilized. I have ordered immediate restoration of playgrounds and playfields so that these are used for organizing inter-school, inter-college and inter-district sporting activities,” he said. 

The Chief Minister observed that we need to create a very conducive and healthy atmosphere in sports arena so that we can produce many more Pervez Rasools. He asked the Sports Minister to revive the hustle and bustle of playgrounds by formulating a sports itinerary that is strictly adhered to. “I have studied in the Government Degree College Anantnag and I desire that the college management make it a vibrant centre of sporting activities,” he stated, while laying stress on active involvement of Deputy Commissioners in all sports-related programmes in their respective districts. 

The South Kashmir Sports Festival, being organized by J&K Police, will be a 15-day event, in which participants from the four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam will compete with each other in various sporting disciplines including cricket, soccer, volleyball, kho kho and badminton. The Chief Minister complimented the J&K Police Department for organizing the tourney, inspite of the challenges they face on the law-and-order and security front.

Speaking on the occasion, the Sports Minister said the Chief Minister has flagged promotion of sports as a major priority area. He said sports festivals, like the one being held here, will be organized in other parts of the state also. “The funds provided to us in addition to our allocation are being utilized for immediate restoration of sports infrastructure,” he said while assuring the Chief Minister of taking big strides in reviving the sports culture in the state.  Also present on the occasion were Director General of Police, K Rajendra, IGP Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Muneer-ul-Islam, DIG and SSPs of South Kashmir Range.

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  • Distributes prizes, compliments ‘Greater Kashmir’ for promoting golf

PAHALGAM: Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today described Pahalgam Golf Course as one of the best in the state and added that golfing will be promoted as a major high-end sport to attract golfers from around the world. He said following approval accorded to the revised Pahalgam Master Plan, a villa resort will be developed around the course to boost golfing activities in the picturesque tourist destination. “Efforts will be made to attract golfers from all over the world, including Japan and UAE, so that golf tourism gets a major fillip,” he said, while complimenting Greater Kashmir for organizing a two-day golf tournament here and RSGC. 

The Chief Minister was speaking, after distributing prizes at the concluding ceremony of the 11th Greater Kashmir Invitational Golf Cup, here today. Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens and Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Secretary Tourism, Farooq A. Shah and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Uzma newspapers, Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo, were present on the occasion. 

Asserting that revival of tourism-related activities is an indicator of change for the better, Mufti Sayeed said that more courses will be set up at different places to create a well-knit golfing circuit in the state. He described golfing as an eco-friendly sport, which has a huge potential in J&K, given its natural contours and landscape. “The Tourism Department should aggressively market J&K as a major golfing destination in the country,” he added. 

Mufti Sayeed applauded Greater Kashmir for regularly holding its invitational cup, which has significantly contributed to the promotion of golf tourism in the state. In all, 106 golfers from Chandigarh, New Delhi and other parts of the country participated in the two-day tourney.   The Chief Minister said the government has improved all major roads in the resort, in particular the Circular and Aru roads. He asked the Public Works Minister to provide dedicated cycling tracks to paddlers within the resort bowl and roads leading to Betaab and Aru valleys. 

Earlier, the Chief Minister presented the best golfer’s trophy to Amit Luthra, noted golfer and Arjuna Awaredee, who won both the legs of the GK Invitational Tournament. He also distributed prizes amongst other winners which include Ranjit Chowdhary, Usman Fazal, Ms. Poonam Chawla, Sohail Khanday, Pranav Kohli, Mohammad Ashfaq and S. M. Sahai.  The Chief Minister also distributed mementoes amongst other participants.

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SRINAGAR: Minister for Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Irrigation & Flood Control, Sukhnandan Kumar flagged off Kashmir’s first international half marathon, “Big Kashmir Marathon” here at Kashmir University (KU) on Sunday Morning. The marathon was organized by FM channel “92.7 Big FM” in collaboration with Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU) of Department Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control and other private players.

The main aim of marathon was to raise awareness on various social issues including importance of following road traffic regulation, conservation of water, keeping environment clean, and respecting elders. Along with thousands of participants coming from various walks of society the runners from countries like Kenya, and Ethiopia also participated in the event.

The participants who started their run from the KU’s Sir Syed Gate were supposed to run up to Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) and to return back to the same starting point in the university. According to the FM officials more than 30,000 people, had registered with them to participate in the event.

Besides, the PHE Minister, the important official dignitaries who attended the function included Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, Secretary PHE Parvez Ahmed Malik, Secretary Tourism Farooq Shah, Inspector General Traffic J P Singh, Executive Director CCDU, Rajiv Malhotra, Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Javid Jaffar, Director School Education, Kashmir, Shah Faisal, Principal Women’s College. Later a “Dream Run” was also held from the same venue where again women, children, old and young participated.