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Sports first

Sports education for a long time has been undervalued in Jammu and Kashmir, especially at school level where the state’s existing education model stresses more on formal education. Until recently, very few people received the support of their famili

Post by on Monday, June 15, 2020

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Sports education for a long time has been undervalued in Jammu and Kashmir, especially at school level where the state’s existing education model stresses more on formal education. Until recently, very few people received the support of their families in making sports the first career choice. But times are changing, which is also visible with the increased participation of young boys and girls in different sports events hosted in the Kashmir, outside Jammu and Kashmir and even at international level. Lately, we have seen the young outperform others and thereby bring home the laurels. The good sign is that performances by young sports persons of the JK have not been confined to one sport or few. The JK has been contributing in terms of organizing events, mostly done by the Department of Youth Services and Sports. The department though has tried to bridge formal education with sports training at district and provisional levels, but it is still to find the right momentum to make things move at a faster pace. The department has to move beyond encouraging and supplying Physical Education Teachers. JK’s spending on sports has been generous compared to the intended results. The chief complaint forwarded by young sportspersons in JK is the overall sports infrastructure. By infrastructure it is not meant to be only in the form of sports fields and special training equipments but also the human resource or talent pool that often has been lost to anonymity in JK. The sports institutions have also been marred by corruption allegations and invidious political interventions. In fact, it is the unwanted political intervention that has become a dissuading factor. The gains in sports institutions and promoting sports in JK, particularly in Kashmir, do not happen to be mere monetary or curricular. Sports provide a unique opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the young, and because of this sports are now receiving greater attention of the politicos. The biggest favour that JK can do at present is to find a way so that sports as a field is not exploited for political mileage. Recognition is a central idea in the arena wherein a sportsperson exists. That recognition has to be protected. Sports education and training is supposed to teach the young to be independent and self-reliant, and not make them dependent on JK’s or government’s recognition. The focus as such of the institutions funded by JK should be limited to avail opportunities, develop physical infrastructure and encourage the local talent pool with proactive engagement opportunities. 

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