The importance of sports and fitness in life is invaluable. Sports bring about team spirit, develop strategic and analytical thinking, leadership skills, goal setting and risk-taking. A fit and healthy individual leads to an equally healthy society and a strong nation.
The Khelo India initiative was introduced to revive the sports culture in India from grassroots level to encourage emerging players from every corner of the country for building a strong framework for sports, bringing laurels and establishing India as a major sports nation in future.
Khelo India is not a program, but it’s a mission. How sports can acquire priority in the lives of common people of India? Parents should also realize the importance of sports in the careers of their children. How it can be strengthened in our schools, in our educational eco system? Sports is an extremely important element for the overall development of our nation. If we want to take India to top of the world in every sphere of life then sports counts as one of the steps to reach there. This could only happen when best of the training facility for their progress will be made available along with opportunities at every corner of the country. In the recent past Kashmir has made steady progress in the field of sports. The huge potential displayed by the young children in kick boxing, karate, wushu, golf, cricket and cycling has been recognized on the global platform. It is time to provide them with first-class infrastructure and training of the highest standard and instill a strong spirit of participation in the sport that will enable players to demonstrate their true potential. Only then Kashmir can fulfill its dream of becoming a sports powerhouse.
Jammu and Kashmir has produced numerous international and national level players including Gul Dev (first Kashmiri Olympian), numerous Indian Premier League cricketers Sharukh Dar, sharp shooter Chain Singh and footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Wushu player Miss Sadia Tariq, who made the entire nation proud by winning gold in the Mascow in Wushu Stars Championship held in February 2022, Cyclist Adil Teli, Judo player Kabar Altaf and many to name. Today, more young people are showing interest in participating in sports than ever before, which is certainly a good sign.
It is good to see that the children, both girls and boys in large numbers are participating in various sports tournaments taking place in the valley. The illuminated fields in Srinagar city witness a lot of buzz in the evenings when Mohalla-level Premier UT League tournament matches are held. Once we establish sports as a tradition, the spirit of sportsmanship will develop automatically. To ensure the same Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up project to upgrade the sports infrastructure and sports ecology. As Kashmir is a snowy region, winter sports are widely promoted with Jammu and Kashmir having secured19th position, with six medals including a gold, two silver and three bronze at Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022. The Indian government has established Gulmarg as the National Winter Sports Center of Excellence.
In February 2023, about 2,000 athletes from different parts of the country will gather in Gulmarg to compete in various sports for the third Winter Games, with the main attractions being snowshoe racing, ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, nordic skiing, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and ice stock. The mega event is one of the many efforts aimed at engaging the youth in positive and constructive activities. By organizing the said event, they will not only promote sports culture in Jammu and Kashmir, but it will also go a long way in attracting young athletes from all over the valley to participate in various sporting events held in their home ground and getting an opportunity to bring laurels to J&K.