Dharamsala to have football academy

Shimla, July 26 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh is developing a football academy in Dharamsala, the hill destination known for the newly-developed world-class showpiece Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium at an altitude of 4,000 feet, an official said on Sunday.

“Multi-purpose indoor sports complexes are being developed in district headquarters, where this facility does not exist besides developing sports fields and facilities and open sports hostels with a budgetary provision of Rs.35 crore this fiscal,” a spokesperson for the state’s youth services and sports department told IANS.

He said a football academy was also being set up at Dharamsala, known for the mighty snow-clad Dhauladhar range forming its backdrop.

Youth constitute 40 percent of the state’s total population.

To empower youth activities, the annual grant of youth clubs had been enhanced from Rs.10,000 to Rs.18,000 in 2013-14 and further to Rs.20,000 in 2015-16, he said.

The state is committed to provide better facilities and infrastructure for sports and other activities.

A sum of Rs.1,386.08 lakh has been spent on repair and maintenance and construction of sports infrastructure in the state. A sum of Rs.1 crore has been spent for the construction of small playfields in rural areas, said the spokesperson.

To promote sports, the state government has increased the cash prize amount four times for securing position at the national level.

In solo competitions, the cash prize for the first position has been enhanced from Rs.20,000 to Rs.80,000 and for second position it has been increased from Rs.10,000 to Rs.40,000 and for third position it has been increased from Rs.6,000 to Rs.24,000.

Similarly, in team competitions, the cash prize for first position has been increased from Rs.4,000 to Rs.16,000 and for second position from Rs.2,000 to Rs.8,000 and for third position increased from Rs.1,000 to Rs.4,000.

The cash prize for national youth awardees has been increased from Rs.5,000 to Rs.40,000.

During the last two and a half years, 225 national award winners, seven mountaineers and 13 special children were honoured with cash awards of Rs.1,08,35,186, the spokesperson added.

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