Jalandhar October 15 : Member Parliament and President Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Sukhvir Singh Badal disclosed that the Government would give lucrative cash incentives and Government jobs to the medal winners in the Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.Speaking on the occasion of distribution of sports equipment among 14,000 budding sportspersons of the state at an impressive function organized by the Punjab Sports Department at the Surjit Olympian Stadium here today, Sukhvir Badal disclosed that two new astroturfs would be laid at Jalandhar and Talwandi Sabo. Besides, seven Six-a-Side astroturfs would also be laid in different parts of the state.The Member of Parliament also promised that for the upliftment of sports in the state latest infrastructure would be created. A new sports policy will also be implemented shortly.
Sukhvir Badal highly praised Sports Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and Sports Director Pargat Singh for adding a new chapter in sports, specially in Punjab.
Sukhbir Singh Badal also inaugurated the Punjab Hockey League for boys under 12, 14, 16, 19/ colleges and for girls under 15 years and above 15 years/colleges. As many as 3125 players will be participating in the Hockey League, which would be played on the weekends and would continue for next six months.
Sukhvir Badal informed the Government is planning to start a National and World Hockey League. Such leagues would also be launched in other sports disciplines.
On this occasion, chief NIS boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu and Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Vijender Singh were honoured with a cash award of Rs 11 lakh each. As Vijender is attending a national camp for the coming World Cup, his uncle received the cheque on his behalf. Quarter-finalists boxers Jitendra Kumar and Akhil Kumar were given Rs. 5.00 lakh each. National gold medalist Kuldeep Singh received a cash award of Rs. 1.00 lakh
Punjab Sports Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Ranike said that the Sports Department was earlier struggling for funds. Even the number of coaches was insufficient to provide training to the players. He disclosed that the budget of the department had now been hiked to 18.50 crore from Rs 9.50 crore. The Sports Department has also recruited 169 coaches and 76 supporting staff.
With a view to making the base of players strong at the grass root level, the Sports Department has admitted 3,000 boys and girls in the sports wings of various schools and colleges to provide them scientific training. These sports wing players would also be provided complete sports kit like track suit, sports shoes, etc. along with sports equipment of their discipline.
Last year Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had distributed sports equipment among 4000 boys and girls on the occasion of the National Sports Day .
Principal Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services RPS Pawar thanked the chief guest. Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Sports Director Padam Shree Pargat Singh, Rakesh Rathor Mayor, Jalandhar, Avinash Chander, Sarabjit Makkar, KD Bhandari, all MLAs and Baljit Singh Neelamahal Chairman, Improvement Trust Jalandhar.
Renowned Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann entertained the players and spectators.