National Centre of Excellence inaugurated at Gulmarg; Aims to become an international winter sports destinatiaon

There are also plans to make Dal Lake a water sports destination

By Samrat Chakraborty

On the occasion of the 2nd Khelo India Winter Games, India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the National Centre of Excellence for Winter Sports at Gulmarg in Jammu Kashmir on Saturday.

At the opening of the Khelo India Winter Games, Rijiju had mentioned that the motive behind organising the event was to make Gulmarg a prime destination for Winter Sports. He further stated that the Centre of Excellence will help in identifying future Olympians among the Kashmiri youth.

“We will ensure that Kashmiri youths’ participation in Olympic Games so that Kashmiri boys too get Olympic medals and make the country proud," said the Union Minister.

He further added, "The players have prepared well for the (Khelo India) Winter Games. And we that in Gulmarg and around the Himalayan Area which has the potential to host the games should have the facility of winter sports. And Gulmarg will be an international destination for Winter Sports and we are preparing well for that.”

At the centre of excellence, former players and experts will actively work to help in identifying talents.

Rijiju also revealed that the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir will also get two Khelo India Centres of Excellence, one each in Srinagar and Jammu.

“Srinagar and Jammu will soon get the start of art Khelo India Centers for excellence where national and international experts will come and identify the sports talent,” he said.

There are also plans to make the iconic Dal Lake in Srinagar a water sports destination. However, due to the fact that parts of the lake might freeze over in winter, water sports events will be held in the lake during the summer months.

Rijiju revealed that the Government of India has already approved the plans for the same.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, several events at the Khelo India Winter Games had to be cancelled at Hill Top and Kongdori due to heavy snowfall. The alternative date and venue for the cancelled events will be notified by the J&K Winter Games Association.