Srinagar: Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved addition of two more water sports disciplines of Kayaking and Canoeing at the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE), Srinagar, which had earlier only facility for rowing.
According to a communiqué issued by J&K Sports Council in this regard, this significant move is aimed at to encourage and facilitate the outstanding athletes of Jammu and Kashmir in these disciplines.
Pertinently, the J&K Sports Council and the UT government had initiated the request for addition of these sporting disciplines in the Centre. The KISCE, which was launched in April 2021, after revamping facilities in the existing J&K Water Sports Academy in J&K shall now train athletes in three disciplines instead of one.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Farooq Khan, while hailing Center government for this significant decision, said, “The addition of Kayaking and Canoeing disciplines shall pave way for more impressive performances in international competitions such as the World Championships and the Asian Championships. The KISCE Water Sports Centre shall help in tapping and nurturing of athletes in two new disciplines enabling them to excel in the sport and represent India in world-class competition.”
Farooq Khan expressed gratitude to Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Manoj Sinha, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, for addition of these disciplines to the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence. He said that athletes are overwhelmed that they can get world class training in more disciplines under one roof.
Advisor said that with the addition of these two sporting disciplines there is scope for greater participation and this shall also draw sporting talent from all across the country. He praised the teams from UT administration and Ministry of Youth Affairs Government of India to make this possible.
Briefing about addition of two new disciplines, Secretary, J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull, informed that the Sports Authority of India and the Sports Council will assess the requirements to implement training in newly added disciplines including coaching and equipment. She said J&K abounds for water bodies and facilities shall be added to other places in both Jammu and Kashmir divisions to make it countries’ best water sports destinations.
Earlier, welcoming the decision, Secretary General, Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, Prashant Khushwaha, said, “We are thankful to the Centre Government for this decision. Kayaking, Canoeing and Rowing together have a total of 63 medals in the Olympics. If we can provide training to youngsters in these disciplines then India’s medal haul in the Olympics can go up significantly. He also added that Kashmir is a very strategic location for the KISCE academy as the weather matches with European countries where most competitions are held and this will only strengthen the chances of our athletes to contend for the Olympic and world title.