J&K ready for int’l sporting events: Union Minister

Flags off women’s mountain ski event

Srinagar, Feb 22:  Saying that the government is focussed on building sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Nitish Pramanik Thursday said that international sports events will be held in the union territory in the future.

He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Khelo India Khelo Winter Games 2024, which is currently underway in Gulmarg.

Pramanik said Khelo India Khelo Winer Games 2024 has been magnificent in all the previous editions.

“Of all the Khelo India Khelo Winter Games held so far, this year’s editions have been fascinating. Athletes and sports lovers have come from different corners of the country to show their excitement to the world,” he said.

The union minister said the government was ready to hold international sports events in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The first four editions were just a trailer. We want to show to the world that our athletes are not lagging in any form of sport. They are ready to compete. Not just national, we want to hold international sports events here. Currently, sports infrastructure is being prioritised and in the future, we will hold international sports events here,” he said.

Pramanik said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir changed after the abrogation of Article 370. “All the hurdles have been cleared. Now people are coming here without any kind of fear in their minds. They want to experience the hospitality of Kashmiris. Recently the G20 summit was held here and the delegates praised Jammu and Kashmir and its people,” he said.

Pramanik congratulated the UT administration and sports council for upgrading the sports infrastructure in the union territory. “Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the sports council have worked hard to provide a basic platform to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. The Central government is serious about sports infrastructure development, which was evident with the performances shown by our athletes in the Olympics, Para-Olympics and Asian games,” he said.

He also flagged off women’s mountain ski event at Kongdoori Phase 1 here during the ongoing 4th edition of Khelo India Winter Games.

After flagging off the event, the Union Minister appreciated the enthusiasm and talent of participating female skiers and encouraged them to pursue their passion for winter sports.

The Minister also interacted with the players and officials on the occasion. He expressed satisfaction over the successful organisation of this national event and praised the efforts of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports as well as  the J&K Sports Council.

Nisith Pramanik remarked that the Khelo India Winter Games is a major event that showcases the potential of Gulmarg as the capital of winter sports in the country. He said that next edition of  event would be even bigger with all the international standards.

Minister further said that the Khelo India Winter Games is not only a sports event, but a snow festival that celebrates  beauty and culture of Gulmarg and J&K. He added that the event has boosted  tourism and economy of the region and attracted visitors from across the country and abroad.

He remarked that J&K has transitioned into a new era of prosperity and peace under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha.

The Minister expressed hope that Khelo India Winter Games would inspire more youngsters to take up winter sports and excel in them. He said that the government is committed to provide all the necessary facilities and support to the budding sportspersons and make India a global leader in winter sports. KNO

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