*Flags off ‘The Great India Run’ from iconic Lal Chowk
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 5: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today dedicated the Upgraded & Revamped Bakshi Stadium at Srinagar to the Sportspersons of J&K.
Terming the occasion as historic, the Lt Governor said that the stadium upgraded at a cost of Rs 59 cr is one more step towards realizing the high-spirited dreams & aspirations of the youth to earn glory through their performances on the field.
The Lt Governor observed that Bakshi Stadium has been a central place of youth for decades, nurturing many dreams and making local sportspersons famous all over the country. This Stadium infused the passion of sports into the lives of millions of people and the legacy has been passed to the new generation, he added.
There were clear directions from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop MA Stadium in Jammu as per ICC Standards and Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar as per FIFA standards, he further added.
Lauding the determination and dedication of J&K’s young sportspersons, the Lt Governor said that the UT Administration has assigned top priority to nurture a flourishing sports culture among youth at grass-root level in order to identify their talent and provide them opportunities to showcase their skills.
Ellahi Bagh Stadium Downtown is ready and will be dedicated to the people before 15 August, announced the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor appreciated the Sports department, J&K Sports Council, and all stakeholders for relentlessly working to identify and nurture young talent.
New Sports Policy was adopted by the UT that not only acknowledges the achievements of our sportspersons but also secures their future by giving them government jobs for their exceptional performances. After the implementation of sports policy earlier this year, process is on to fill all the vacancies by eliminating the backlog from 2014 to 2021, he further added.
The Lt Governor also spoke about the achievements of sportspersons from the UT who made their mark at the national and international arena.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor, while speaking on the occasion said that the UT Government has paid special attention on developing sports infrastructure and providing the best training and exposure to the youngsters, he added.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, reiterated the Government’s commitment to extend all support to the sporting talent of J&K.
Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary Tourism, in his welcome address threw light on the measures taken for the upgradation and renovation of Bakshi Stadium, and further highlighted the achievements.
Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, J&K Sports Council presented the vote of Thanks.
Earlier, the Lt Governor took the ceremonial salute at an impressive March past by the contingents.
The Lt Governor marked the start of sports activities in the newly upgraded stadium by kicking the football.
Meanwhile Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today flagged off “The Great India Run” from the iconic Lal Chowk Srinagar.
The marathoners will cover a distance of more than 800 kms from Srinagar to New Delhi with the message of peace and national integration.
The run is being dedicated to the ‘HarGharTiranga’ campaign to mark ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The venue was decorated with 75 Indian tricolours to mark 75 years of Independence.
The occasion also witnessed the children celebrating ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign as a part of the marathon.
The relay-run will go across 4 states covering the routes- Banihal, Patnitop, Mansar Lake, Dinanagar, Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar, Ambala Cantt before culminating at India Gate on the occasion of Independence Day.
The first leg of the run is being led by Ultra-marathon runner, Arun Bhardwaj.
Some of India’s most iconic sports legends including PT Usha, ‘Queen’ of Track & Field; Anju Bobby George, World Championship Medalist; Commonwealth Champions, former Indian Cricketers, footballers among others will join in the various legs of the run.