Jammu, Mar 20: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, on Monday declared open 84th Senior National and Inter State Table Tennis Championship at University of Jammu here.
Addressing a large gathering of table tennis players including a galaxy of top stars from across the country at this grand event, Advisor Bhatnagar highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a remarkable transformation in sports ecosystem since the past three years. This, he said, reflects story of growth and development here with sea of opportunities. He added that the UT government is giving prime focus to up gradation of sports infrastructure here and in last three years world class sports infrastructure has been established so that the youth of J&K excel in sports.
“From Panchayat level to UT level, sports facilities are being established across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir so that youth get best training and exposure to play and perform at National and International events”, Advisor maintained.
Advisor further remarked that Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as the powerhouse of sports and players of national and international repute are being produced here. He highlighted that J&K is emerging as preferred location for organizing National and International sports events and the successful culmination of Gulmarg Winter Games is witness to it.
Divulging on different initiatives of J&K administration in Sports sector, Advisor Bhatnagar remarked that J&K government launched unique initiative of ‘My Youth My Pride’ through which activities in games like Gymnastics, Football, Hockey Judo, yoga, Boxing, Cricket and others were held all across Jammu and Kashmir. He added that more than 50 lakh players participated in different sports disciplines held under this initiative.
Advisor further said that the present LG led administration is committed towards development of sports from the village level to UT level He added that the present administration has also approved the reservation in jobs for sports persons under newly issued Jammu and Kashmir Sports Policy.
Advisor Bhatnagar also praised the organizers for their efforts in putting together an event of this magnitude and commended the players for their dedication and hard work. He emphasized on the importance of sports in building a healthy and fit nation, and encouraged everyone to take up some form of physical activity.
Advisor appreciated the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) for allotting this big event to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. He assured every help and support from the government of J&K to all the participants and other officials in every respect who have come from across the country. He also appreciated J&K table tennis association for their tireless efforts in organizing such a mega event.
Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted broad contours of the tournament and appreciated TTFI for reposing faith in J&K table tennis association in organizing such a big event. He also asked for organizing an International level championship in UT of Jammu and Kashmir which not only will boost the game but also give a message of love from this place to the entire world.
Chairperson of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), Vita Dani, in her speech, assured the UTT will continue to promote the table tennis game in the country.
Secretary TTFI, Kamlesh Mehta in his address welcomed the participants and also lauded J&K Table Tennis Association for organising this event.
Pertinent to mention, the event was last held in J&K 25 years ago and in the current championship more than 900 players are participating in this mega event which included 34 teams of men and 32 women teams from all over the country.