Srinagar, Feb 12: In a major push to strengthen sports infrastructure and promote sporting talent in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory government has enhanced the budgetary allocation to the sports sector by Rs 31 crore for 2024-25.
As per the budget document, the capital expenditure budget for the sports sector has been increased from Rs 110 crore in 2023-24 to Rs 141.80 crore for the 2024-25 fiscal.
"Over 30% hike in the sports budget underscores the government's intent to build and upgrade sports facilities across J&K. It is also expected to give a boost to sporting activities and nurture young talent in various games," said a senior sports department official.
He said that the increased allocation comes as a boon for J&K which has huge potential in sports. The funds will support the construction of playgrounds, stadiums, indoor sporting infrastructure, and coaching academies.
As per the Budget document, the Jammu and Kashmir government has taken several steps over the past year to promote sports and develop sporting infrastructure across the union territory.
High-performance training centres in Wushu were established in Poonch, Billawar, Kulgam and Bakshi Stadium. Yoga centres were set up at M A Stadium and Bakshi Stadium. National-level competitions in handball, arm wrestling, tennis ball cricket, thang-ta and other sports were conducted. Legends League Cricket tournament was also organised in Jammu.
J&K hosted 4 national events in football, volleyball, judo and fencing as part of the 67th National School Games 2023. Sports academies in cricket, football, volleyball, wushu, hockey, gymnastics, water sports, judo and table tennis were established to institutionalise training.
National coaching camps were held in wushu, kayaking, canoeing and football. Sports associations organised national championships in various disciplines like wrestling, rowing, softball, yoga and more, it said.
At international events, J&K athletes won 6 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. Nationally, J&K won 56 gold, 47 silver and 49 bronze medals till December 2023.
With over 1500 athletes participating in winter sports held in J&K last year, the union territory is developing as the winter sports capital of India, the official document said.