Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat declared open the month-long State level mega Football Tournament at TRC Synthetic Turf Football Stadium here on Wednesday in a glittering opening ceremony which was attended by a galaxy of sports lovers.
For the first time, as per the statement, such prestigious tournament has been organized by the Department of Health & Medical Education in collaboration with the J&K State Sports Council and J&K Football Association under the slogan “Play for Health” (Khelo Sehat Ke Liye) with an objective to involve College students from both the divisions of the State in this popular game. The students from Degree Colleges across the State will participate in the month-long tourney. The matches will be played on knockout basis in almost all the districts. The semis and final of the event shall be played in Srinagar.
The inaugural match was played between Amar Singh College and S.P. College. To encourage the players, the Minister himself participated in the opening game as a player that enthralled the audience in the pavilions.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that sports play a vital role in the harmonious development of the youth, adding the sports are as important as education. He said that the Government has given priority to this sector and has taken various steps for the promotion of Sports activities in the State. The Union Government has been providing liberal funds for upgrading the existing and development of new infrastructure under the sector, he maintained.
The Minister said that the Department of Health & Medical Education, which is associated with the good health of the people, has initiated to give impetus to the sports activities involving large number of youth, especially the college students across the State. He said that the sports not only keep the youth physically and mentally fit, but also inculcate the sense of team spirit, responsibility, discipline and patriotism that help to make one responsible citizens. The sports activities also help in keeping the youth away from the drugs addiction and various other social evils in the society, said the Minister.
Mr. Bali said that the initiative will provide an opportunity to the budding players to showcase their talent which will help them to make their way at the national and inter-national level. He said the football is the popular sports in the State, especially in the Kashmir Valley and hoped that more and more youth will participate in the sports activities in the coming times.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included, Secretary Technical, Health & Medical Education, Dr. Abdul Kabir Dar, Principal JVC, Dr. Rayaz Ahmed Untoo, Director Family Welfare, Dr. Sameer Mattoo, Mission Director, NHM, Dr. Mohan Singh, Controller Drugs & Food Control Organization, Ms. Lotika Khajuria, Managing Director, J&K State Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd, Inderjeet Bhagat, Principal Government Dental College, Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Riaz, Principal GMC, Dr. Samia Rashid, prominent footballers Mehraj-ud-Din Baddoo, Ishfaq Ahmed, President J&K Football Association, Z.A. Thakur and large number of doctors and large number of sports lovers