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  • Over 100 players participate in swimming, cycling, hiking, running

SRINAGAR: The department of Tourism Kashmir Sunday organized first of its kind Srinagar Adventure Race as part of its Valley Weekend programme. Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah flagged off the race at 6 am at Water Sports Center at Nigeen, which saw participation of around 100 youth affiliated with many adventure sports associations. The adventure race started with 500 meters of swimming at Nigeen Lake followed by 15 km of cycling from Nigeen Club to Zabarwan Park via foreshore road, 1 km of hiking from Zabarwan Park to Shankaracharya hill top and 5 km road running downhill from Shakracharya to the finishing line at Zabarwan Park.

Muzamil Hussain of JK Adventure Sports Club finished first while as Suhaib ul Mehraj of Jammu and Kashmir Mountain Biking Club, Suhail Nisar of JK Adventure Sports Club, Nawab Moazum Khan of Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking Club and Dr. Amin Rishi of Jammu and Kashmir Mountain Biking Association bagged other four positions respectively. Director Tourism Kashmir distributed prizes and certificates to the winners and the participants at Zabarwan Park.

While hailing the youth for their active involvement in the sports activities, Mahmood A Shah said the department is committed to providing facilities and right platform to the youth in all games. He said triathlon events were rarely held in Kashmir and by organizing this event the department want to revive such adventure games. He said local youth have lot of talent but they need the right platform to hone their skills and showcase their talent.

“This event was just the beginning and we will organize more such events and at large scale in which the athletes will have to cover more distance. This will give them right platform to prepare for national and international events,” said Director Tourism Kashmir. Notably, the department of tourism provided every facility including mountain bikes to most of the participants and also trained them in swimming at Nigeen club ahead of the event.

The department trained over 500 youth in swimming in all age groups at Nigeen Club over the past few years. The department provided free coaching with all the lifesaving equipment like life wests so that participants learn swimming without taking any risks. Director tourism also urged the participants to take care of the water bodies and desist from littering disposables. The sports activities are part of the tourism department’s Valley Weekend programme in which it organizes musical and cultural events on every Saturday evening and next day on Sunday organizes sports and other tourism related activities. The aim of the programme is to provide entertainment to the tourists and engage locals in sports activities.

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  • Slathia presents trophies

JAMMU: Uttar Pradesh defeated Jammu and Kashmir in the first-ever inter-state Triangular Cricket Tournament for the Blind in a thrilling match played at Gulshan Grounds here on Sunday. The winning team thrashed the host eleven by eight wickets in the event witnessed by a large number of sports lovers and cricket fans, who applauded the players on every delivery and drive. Shahid Gaji of Uttar Pradesh was declared Man of the Match.         

Besides Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh participated in the two-day tournament, inaugurated yesterday. Huge accolades poured in to the talented cricketers by the audience, who cheered on every ball of the game. Leading hundreds of sports lovers who complimented the participating teams for their courageous and scintillating performance, former minister and State Secretary National Conference Mr Surjeet Singh Slathia said the event has left an indelible mark on the budding cricketers, which will prove inspirational and game changer for the differently-able sport spersons in particular. 

Mr Slathia hailed the societal response towards sensitivities of the visually impaired cricketers and stressed upon the need for providing all necessary assistance, training and coaching to enable such sports persons realize their dreams. He placed on record his appreciation for the physically challenged people in scripting sagas of success stories and making their mark in every sphere of activity, especially art and sports. 

The former minister exuded confidence that the physically challenged sports persons will prove to be motivational and inspirational for others by giving their best to various games. Mr Slathia gave away prizes and trophies to the winner and runner up teams besides the other participating team at a well attended concluding function. The Convener of National Federation of Blind, J&K Chapter Mr Mohinder K Badyal introduced the cricketers to the chief guest, saying the inaugural matches have been quite thrilling. He dwelt upon the initiatives of the Federation in poupularising cricket among visually impaired young people. 

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Youth Sports Secretary Blind Association Mr Naveen Alabit, Mr Balvinder Singh General Secretary of the National Federation of Blind Punjab and District Social Welfare Officer, Jammu.

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JAMMU: Lauding the resilience and fortitude of visually impaired cricketers and their love for the game, Provincial President National Conference Mr Devender Singh Rana on Saturday expressed his delight to be witness to an event that will have lasting impact on him and the sports lovers of Jammu and inspire them to brave odds for achieving excellence. “Seeing is believing”, Mr Rana said while inaugurating the historic and perhaps first ever two-day Triangular Cricket Tournament for Blind at Gulshan Grounds here this morning, adding that it is the most happiest and proudest moment for him to be amid brave players, which he will cherish all his life.

Organised by the National Federation of Blind, J&K Chapter, the tournament will witness visually impaired players from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the host Jammu and Kashmir making their tryst with ball and the willow. Mr Rana said that one such event is precious than many other sports tourneys that will turn out to be inspiring for the budding players of the temple city and its peripheries. He said the players moving around the pitch will signal hope for thousands of physically challenged young people, who he expressed confidence, will find purpose in living and contributing by abundant talent each one of them possessed in varied fields. He recalled the contribution of physically challenged in every sphere of activity including in arts and sports, saying they have proved to be second to none.

The Provincial President referred to the presence of huge number of sports lovers and said this depicts societal involvement in the welfare and well-being of physically challenged. He said such events will script a new saga of bonhomie and camaraderie among youth cutting across religions and physical status. He said the physical imparity is not any curse given the strength to meet it boldly. “That is what the players are going to showcase in today’s event”, he said.

He wished all the success to players and said that no matter who wins of looses, mere presence of the visually impaired players in the cricket field is their victory, which will enthuse and each one witnessing this great event. Mr Rana expressed his gratitude to the organizers for bestowing him great honour of inaugurating this historic two day event and assured that he will feel equally privileged for doing anything for the young players. He emphasized the crucial need of overall growth of the youngsters, especially those physically challenged, and said the game of cricket will ensure this aspect of their lives. He lauded the grit and determination of the players in overcoming hurdles and difficulties to shape their dreams into reality. “The players will not only be showcasing their talent during the matches but emanating spirit to live”, he added.

The opening match was played between the host Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab teams. The players showed their immense talent in every field of the game. The cricket lovers applauded every delivery bowled, hit and fielded by the young visually impaired crickets. It was a unique event which received unprecedented applause by the fans of the game. The Convenor of National Federation of Blind, J&K Chapter Mr Mohinder K Badyal spelled out the objectives of the tournament and said various other initiatives are underway to give fillip to sports events involving physically challenged people. He introduced the cricketers to the chief guest. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Youth Sports Secretary Blind Association Mr Naveen Alabit, Mr Balvinder Singh General Secretary of the National Federation of Blind Punjab and District Social Welfare Officer, Jammu.