Jammu, Feb 04 :
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports and I&B, Anurag Thakur launched 3rd Khelo India National Winter Games Anthem, Mascot and Jersey at Raj Bhavan on Saturday.
The launching ceremony marked the beginning of the biggest sporting extravaganza at Gulmarg starting from 10th February. More than 1500 sportspersons from 29 States/ UTs/ Boards will participate in 11 different winter sports disciplines.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister Anurag Thakur congratulated the Lt Governor-led UT Government for promoting sports in J&K.
The participation of more than 1500 sportspersons in the Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg will encourage the youth towards winter sports and also boost the tourism in Jammu Kashmir. The sportspersons joining the games from across the country will be the brand ambassador of the new Jammu Kashmir, he added.
“Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have revived the sports culture. The increased sports activities and the greater participation of youth in sports is having transformative impact on the society,” said the Union Minister.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, in his address, conveyed his best wishes to all the players, officials associated with the grand event.
J&K is all geared up to host the players, sports lovers and officials participating in the National Winter Games. Gulmarg, the world-renowned winter tourism destination has been developed as a sports city to host the largest ever contingent of 1500 players from across the country, said the Lt Governor.
With the successful conduct of earlier winter games, Gulmarg has achieved its much deserved place on the global map of Winter Games. This year’s mascot the Snow Leopard depicts the vibrant heritage of the Himalayas. It also reiterates the administration’s commitment towards their conservation, added the Lt Governor.
Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with the support of the Union Sports Ministry, world class sports infrastructure and facilities are being developed in J&K for the sportspersons, observed the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor also spoke on the transformation taking place in the sporting ecosystem in the UT.
Sportspersons from J&K are bringing laurels to the nation at national and international events. Development of sports infrastructure is in full swing. Our Sports budget is at par with the bigger states. Today every district, every panchayat of the UT has sports facilities. We have already surpassed the target of engaging 50 lakh youth in sports activities, the Lt Governor noted.
The Lt Governor reiterated the commitment of the government to encourage the youth and provide them a platform to showcase their talents.
Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to Government, Tourism and Youth Services & Sports; Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, J&K Sports Council and senior officials were present.