Pulwama, July 06: Youth Services and Sports Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday, kick started Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee open hockey tournament, an inter district competition for school boys of under 19 (U19) age group, at synthetic turf in Chatapora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The inaugural match was played between Baramullah and Pulwama.
Around 10 teams from different districts of Kashmir area participating in this month-long league cum Knockout series.
District Officer, Youth Services and Sports Pulwama, Jagdish Raj, said that there will be a total of 23 matches and the final of the tournament will be played on 5th of August, 2023.
The tournament is played on a synthetic turf developed by Youth Services and Sports Jammu and Kashmir at Chatapora locality inside premises of Government Boys Higher Secondary School Pulwama.
Joint Director Youth Services and Sports Kashmir, Waseem Raja, was the chief guest during the inaugural ceremony of the tournament.
He congratulated people of Pulwama, local administration and his staff for hosting the hockey tournament which is played on a synthetic turf for first time in Kashmir.
He said that the synthetic turf was developed to promote hockey and to provide a facility for youth of Pulwama.
“There is no better facility in Kashmir than this synthetic turf which was developed in phase one, we are developing a similar astro turf at Amar Singh College Srinagar under phase two but that it still under progress” he said, adding that this turf is almost complete needing minor upgradation like water facility and drainage.
The Joint Director further added that the tournament was named in honour of Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee to recognise his great contribution for industries and commerce sector and overall political development of India.
He said that the aim of organising this tournament is to motivate school boys below 19 age group towards the game and provide a platform to them to hone their talent.
He also said that a second edition of the tournament will be started soon which will be open to all local youth.
The local hockey players were elated to play on the synthetic turf.
“Playing on the synthetic turf was a new experience for me,” said one local hockey player, adding that he had no prior exposure of playing hockey on Astro turf.
He added that this experience will definitely help them to prepare for national and international level competitions.