Over 5 lakh players will participate in Punjab Khed Mela-2022: Minister : The Tribune India

Over 5 lakh players will participate in Punjab Khed Mela-2022: Minister

Over 5 lakh players will participate in Punjab Khed Mela-2022: Minister

Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and the DC during a press meet in Jalandhar. Photo: Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Nawanshahr, August 18

Punjab Sports and Youth Services Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer reviewed the preparations for the Punjab Khed Mela-2022, in Nawanshahr today.

Around five lakh players of various age groups are expected to participate in the two-month event to be launched by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Jalandhar on August 29.

The minister said online entries for the games would provide with a database of the budding players of the state who can be nurtured as future champions. The government is also planning to provide sports infrastructure at village level to keep state youth away from drugs.

Hayer was accompanied by Principal Secretary (Sports) Raj Kamal Chaudhary and Director Sports Rajesh Dhiman. He said the participation of 14 to 50 plus age categories in these games would be ensured.

He said: “There was a time when Punjab was at the top spot in the country in the field of sports, but due to the apathetic attitude of the previous governments towards sports, we have fallen far behind.” The minister said some players of Punjab had shown their talent in the recently held Commonwealth Games, but to create such players, we need to hone up the hidden talent in Punjab.

Offline entry for the event has also been arranged at the District Sports Offices. Also, the former players who have excelled in sports at the block and district level have also been roped in for these games, so that their presence could inspire the new generation.

“It is surprising that for six years, there has been no Budget for buying sport equipment in Punjab and the government under the leadership of CM Mann made an enhanced allocation of 52 per cent in sports and youth services in its first Budget. Apart from Khelo India, sports facilities will be provided under the Rural Development and Panchayat Department and MGNREGA in all villages of the state,” said the Sports Minister.

Calling upon all Punjabis to join hands and revive the 'sports culture' in the state, Meet Hayer said the endeavour of the CM to organise Punjab Khed Mela-2022 would be the first ever such big event in the last 75 years at block, district and state level. The minister also announced that a new Sports Policy was on the anvil and it will be unveiled shortly.

He asked the district administration to reach out to the players through sports grounds, panchayats, schools etc. to ensure the participation of maximum number of players.

New sports policy soon

Calling upon all Punjabis to join hands and revive the 'sports culture' in the state, Meet Hayer said the endeavour of the CM to organise Punjab Khed Mela-2022 would be the first ever such big event in the last 75 years at block, district and state level. The minister also announced that a new Sports Policy was on the anvil and it will be unveiled shortly.

‘Set up sports complex in Phagwara’

AAP leader Joginder Singh Mann asked Meet Hayer to set up a world class integrated sports complex and stadium in Phagwara. Joginder Mann, who called on the Sports Minister on Thursday, said Phagwara is a hub of Doaba region and its hardworking and resilient residents have excelled in every sphere. He lamented that due to some reasons, Phagwara has lagged behind in field of sports though some eminent sportspersons have been produced here. He demanded that the stadium be named after Dr BR Ambedkar. oc

No sports budget in six years

It is surprising that for six years, there has been no Budget for buying sports equipment in Punjab and the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann made an enhanced allocation of 52 per cent in sports and youth services in its first Budget. Apart from Khelo India, sports facilities will be provided under the Rural Development and Panchayat Department and MGNREGA in all state villages. — Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Punjab Sports & Youth Services Minister

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