SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari today flagged-off a 30-member JK Snake Boat Team who will participate in Nehru Trophy Boat Race-2017 in Kerala.
The 30-member contingent will be part of Town Boat Club Kumarakom in which 100 players from various parts of the country will be the part of the Club.
Wishing the team good luck, Bukhari said Jammu and Kashmir has a large pool of talent in various fields of sports that needs exposure in national and international arenas.
The Minister said that other than physical and mental development, sports activities play a vital role to widen vision and in gaining self-confidence which is key to excel in any field of life.
He said that the sports activities help in grooming youth to inculcate qualities to become global leaders and play a positive role in shaping society towards further betterment.
While interacting with the players, Bukhari said that the visit will mark a major shift in the field of sports in J&K and hoped that the team will do best to excel and bring laurels for the state.
He added that the sports events should be organized in the State so that more local players will get chances to interact with National players.
Pertinently, Nehru Trophy Boat Race held during the harvest festival of Onam is among the biggest mass sporting events in the world. The Nehru Trophy boat race has a story that goes all the way back to 1952 when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru came down to Kerala. The locals arranged a boat race to make the occasion, and the story is that Nehru got so excited with the spectacle that he also jumped into a boat along with the rovers and later donated a trophy to hold it every year.
Dozens of such races are held every year in a charged atmosphere, with thousands of spectators turning up along the state’s placid backwaters, cheering their home team racing on snake boats which will be usually 100-ft long and carrying about one hundred oarsmen or women.
Water sports coach, Bilquis Mir of J&K State Sports Council and various administrative officials were present on the occasion.