Srinagar, Nov 04: Secretary, Youth Services and Sports (YSS), Sarmad Hafeez, on Saturday inaugurated the 45th Senior National Softball Championship being hosted at twin venues of Bakshi Stadium and Multiple Sports Complex Gindun, Rajbagh here.
The inaugural ceremony of the national event was held at Bakshi Stadium.
While addressing the participants, Sarmad Hafeez said that the championship is expected to generate an intense competition among the teams, as they strive to be crowned as the national champions. “Over thousand players from twenty-seven different states and union territories of the country are participating in the tournament”, he added.
Sarmad Hafeez said that such championships not only provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills but also serves as an opportunity for them to compete for national honour. The winners of the championship will not only be recognized as the best in the country but will also gain prestige and recognition for their achievements, he added.
Secretary said that this is the series of national events that J&K has been hosting and till now four national level competitions in sports disciplines of Handball, Arm Wrestling, Thang-Ta and the Football during the current year has provided platform to the youth to showcase their talent. This has also immensely helped in sending out a message of changing J&K.
“The efforts at the ground level culminated in massive participation of around fifty-three lakh players in various sports events held at Panchayat, Block, District, UT and National level and number is expected to reach seventy lakh this year with increased base of sports activities in the region,” said Sarmad Hafeez.
Secretary J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull, speaking on the sidelines of the event, said that at a time when Softball is gaining popularity among masses in India, this championship provides an opportunity for local athletes to represent their regions and compete at national level. For Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, hosting the championship is a proud moment as it shall go along way in further promotion of sports in the region, she added.
Among others present on the occasion included Dr. Zaffar Iqbal CAO Sports Council, Muzzafar Hussain Wani Divisional Sports Officer, Kashmir and office bearers of Softball Association of India including Dr Praveen Anorkar, Director International tours, LR Moria Secretary General, Shirikant Thorat, Dharmaji Choudankar, Vice President, Tabinder Sahu Vice President from Softball Association of India, Abdul Rehman Shigan and Waseem Ahmad President and General Secretary, J&K Softball Association of J&K.
The tournament will witness matches being played at the Bakshi Stadium and Multi-Purpose Sports Centre Gindun, Rajbagh. These venues have been prepared to host the event, ensuring that all facilities are in top-notch condition.
The championship will consist of matches in both the men's and women's sections. With a total of 27 teams in the men's section and 25 teams in the women's section. There will be a total of 52 teams participating in the tournament. The event will last for five days and conclude on 8th of this month.
Meanwhile, Sarmad Hafeez also inaugurated the 50th UT Badminton Championship at Sheri Kashmir Indoor Sports Complex Srinagar. The five-day event shall witness participation of around two hundred players representing different districts of J&K.
Sarmad Hafeez asked the J&K Badminton Association to pitch up for organizing a national badminton event in J&K and assured full support on this account. He also directed that the camp for national level badminton players should become a regular feature in J&K with boost in game related infrastructure in the region.
On the occasion, Secretary J&K Sports Council Nuzhat Gull highlighted the measures taken for improvement of Badminton and its related infrastructure in J&K.