The first ever open Kayaking and Canoeing Marathon Race started on Saturday in Srinagar’s Jhelum river.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta flagged off the Marathon Race in Jhelum organised by J&K Sports Council.
Around 100 participants, including 10 female athletes, took part in the marathon, which started from the Zero Bridge to the Ganpatyar area of Srinagar.
The race had 4 categories which included Senior, Junior, K1 and K2.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary highlighted the importance of improved and world-class sports infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir for organising such activities.
He said that the government is fully committed to developing sports facilities in the union territory so that youth emerge as top performers across the country.
The Chief Secretary remarked that the government is keen to organise various sports activities in the union territory to explore and hone the talent of youth in the disciple of the sports, be it cricket, football, water sports or any other sports activity.
He said that the aim of the government is that youth from J&K should represent the country at Olympics and other international events and every support will be provided in this regard to every sports loving person.
Mehta further said that water sports will be promoted in J&K owing to the presence of natural water resources.
He mentioned that water sports was started last year in Ranjit Sagar dam, and this year, we are targeting Jhelum, Manasbal, Nigeen, Wular, so that maximum number of such events will be organised this year.
The Chief Secretary stated that last year 17 lakh youth had participated in different sports activities which in itself is a record.
“This year, we are expecting a huge increase in the numbers and around 35 lakh youth will be roped in for participating in different sports activities,” he added.
Nuzhat Gul, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, said that this event was organised as part of ‘My Youth, My Pride’ initiative through which the council is organising different activities for youth engagement across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
She urged the society to join hands and help in promoting sports among the youth and taking sports on a mission mode.
Gul added the government has been providing its unflinching support to develop top class sports infrastructure for coaching and other activities across the Jammu and Kashmir.