Jammu, Dec 31 (Agency) Elated with an overall performance, the enthusiast sports persons of Jammu and Kashmir wrapped up the year in high spirits by bringing 166 national and 21 international medals at various competitions held throughout the year. The sports sector in Jammu and Kashmir post revocation of Article 370 in 2019 has seen a boom with activities happening and buzzing in parts of the Union Territory including the start of night tournaments and championships thus shedding off the taboo of security threats particularly in Kashmir. The athletes in Jammu and Kashmir claimed 166 medals at national platforms comprising 29 golds, 52 silvers and 85 bronze. As per the data available with the UNI, Wushu, Thang-Ta were the highest medal winning sports in Jammu and Kashmir in 2022 with 40 and 26 medals respectively followed by Pencak Silat (18), Gymnastics (14), Kayaking and Canoeing and Kickboxing (12 each) and Fencing (11). However, boxing, Rowing, Athletics, Handball, Cycling, Netball, Judo, Rollball are among others that fetched medals for the union territory.
Moreover, at International level, Pencak Silat topped the chart with 12 medals (3 gold, one silver, 8 bronze) followed by Wushu (2 gold, silver and bronze one each), Fencing (3 bronze), Chess and Volleyball (bronze each). In 2021, over 17 lakh youth were engaged under ‘Khelo India’ programme in different disciplines all across the Union Territory and in 2022-23, the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council—the body catering and facilitating sports is eyeing to involve around 35 lakh youths with a motive to connect them and inculcate sports for a disciplined and visionary future. The Jammu and Kashmir Sports Department is headed by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha as its president, who always nurtured it with better infrastructure and facilities for the players. Sinha this year also rolled out the much awaited ‘Sports Policy’ to take this sector to new heights for benefits and welfare of the sports persons and enthusiasts. Nuzhat Gul is the Secretary Sports Council at present while the Department of Youth Services and Sports is having Subhash Chibber as its Director and the department is being run under the guidance of Commissioner Secretary Sarmad Hafeez. Besides performing at various levels, the Jammu and Kashmir in 2022, also successfully hosted as many as 14 national championships in both Jammu and Srinagar capital cities with a message of peace, hospitality, harmony and tranquillity in every nook and corner.
The Jammu and Kashmir this year hosted National U-10 Chess Championship at Jammu in April, National Sub Junior Rowing Championship at Srinagar in June, Master’s National Table Tennis Championship at Srinagar in August, North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship at Jammu in September, Junior Asian Pencak Silat Championship at Srinagar in October, Senior National Pencak Silat Championship at Srinagar in October, Senior National Wushu Championship at Srinagar in November, Khelo India Wushu Women League (North Zone) at Srinagar in November, Junior National Volleyball Championships at Jammu in November, Senior National Tennis Ball Cricket Championship at Jammu in December, North Zone Rollball Championship at Jammu in January, (J&K team earned Gold medal in Men Section and Silver Medal in Women Section), Sub Junior National Soft Tennis Championship at Srinagar in March, NTPC Senior National Archery Championship at Jammu in March and National Ski Cross Country at Gulmarg in March.