First-ever National Rowing Championship kicks off in J&K, 600 participants from 23 states attend

Written By: Idrees Lone WION Web Team
Srinagar, India Updated: Jun 23, 2022, 07:57 PM(IST)

First-ever National Rowing Championship kicks off in J&K Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

The National Rowing Championship will provide a unique opportunity for young sportspersons from all over the country to display sporting excellence and share the camaraderie and sportsmanship. 

Jammu and Kashmir is hosting the first first-ever National Rowing Championship on the world-famous Dal Lake. The government is keen on making the Union Territory a water sports hub of India. Srinagar's Water Sports Center is equipped with world-class infrastructure for kayaking, canoeing, and rowing. 

Around 550 athletes from 23 states of India are competing in the championship. 50 rowing coaches have come from across India to help these athletes in the tournament. The National Rowing Championship will provide a unique opportunity for young sportspersons from all over the country to display sporting excellence and share camaraderie and sportsmanship. 

''This is a prestigious championship for the Jammu and Kashmir, It is the first National rowing championship to be held here. This will boost the water sports in the Valley. There are 23 states participating with 600 athletes. In our Dal Lake, people have come from across the country. The federation after seeing the arrangements has said that they want to arrange international events like these here as well. It's a proud moment for us. We are using the best equipment. There are many award-winning athletes participating. We are blessed with water sports, we want to bring Kashmir on the world map of water sports. Dal lake has become a hub of water sports. Jammu and Kashmir will host International events in the future,'' said Bilquis Mir, Director of Watersports. 

The Kashmir Valley's water sports department has been provided with the best infrastructure and equipment for the athletes. The government has paid special attention to water sports to help grow the sports culture across the Union territory. As Kashmir is gifted with natural water resources, the sports authorities are saying that Kashmir could be the next destination for National and International water sporting events in the future. 

ALSO READ | Did Sunil Chhetri-led India hire astrologer for AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers' success?

''This is the first time Kashmir has organised a National level championship and we are indeed proud and honoured to be here. It's not an easy task to host National rowing championships, it involves a lot of equipment and logistics. We hope this will give a boost to Kashmir as the new rowing destination. Kashmir Invokes a lot of curiosity and a lot of us have not come here. We love it here. We have two nationals taking part at the same time. One is the challenger National where novices are taking part and second is the sub junior,'' said Raj Laxmi Singh, President Rowing Federation of India. 

The government is emphasising not only water sports but all sports activities in the Union Territory. Earlier, one lakh players from across the country used to get the opportunity to play in a year in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year the number increased to 1.7 million. In 2022, 3.5 million players are expected to participate in different disciplines of sports across the UT. In order to ensure equal opportunity, 50% participation of girls is being ensured in the talent development program.

''It's a national tournament and athletes from every corner of India have come to participate. It's a big opportunity for the people of Kashmir Valley so that Srinagar produces some national and international level athletes, that's why the Government decided to hold this National level tournament. We are seeing a lot of participation for this tournament from across. The local team of JK has also shown exemplary talent and have reached the finals. JK has lots of water resources and they need to be utilised by local talent and reach international levels.'' said Bajrang Lal, Olympian, Arjun Award and Padma Shri. 

Initiatives like Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and Khelo India have given wings to the young generation. It has given players a perfect opportunity to target Olympic medals.

Read in App