Jammu, Nov 20: Terming fencers and their escorts from across the nation as the ambassadors to carry the message of peace, Secretary to Government, Youth Services and Sports Department, Sarmad Hafeez said that the sportspersons are the messengers of peace, prosperity and harmony.
While inaugurating 67th National School Games in the discipline of Fencing U-19 boys and girls here at Gymnasium Hall, University of Jammu, the Secretary extended thanks to the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for sanctioning four Nationals to J&K this year.
He said that the Government of J&K was committed to promote sports and possessed all that was required to host mega sporting events in a most befitting manner.
Hafeez added that the performance of J&K athletes at the National scene and the Indian athletes at the International arena portrayed the picture of enhancement in sports infrastructural facilities and excellence in coaching standard.
Secretary said that this event is part of the series of National School Games that J&K has been hosting and till now four national level competitions in sports disciplines of Football, Volleyball, Judo and Fencing have been organised during the current year, which has provided a platform to the youth to showcase their talent. This has also immensely helped in sending out a message of changing J&K.
He further said that last year 60 lakh youth across J&K took part in various sports activities and this year the target is much more than last year and added, “mega events like this apart from helping youth to showcase their sporting skills, also help them to exchange their culture and language.”
Earlier, in his welcome address Director Youth Services and Sports, Subash Chander Chibber welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries and highlighted the achievements of the Department.
While encouraging the participants, Chibber said winning and losing is part of the game but participation itself is an achievement.
He assured the participating contingents of all facilities and comfortable stay.
Meanwhile, J&K U-19 boys won sabre team gold on day-one. The gold medal winners include Harshit Kohli, Anubhav Sharma, Vatsal Gandhotra and Amish Sharma. The silver medal in this category went to Haryana and the bronze was bagged by Punjab and Gujarat.
In U-19 girls epee, Maharashtra clinched the gold and the winners included Gargee Nitin Dongare, Arpita, Mahendra Kate, Mahi Kishore Aradwad and Vinaya Balukrushna Jadhao. The silver medal in this event went to CBSE Welfare Sports Organisation and the bronze by IBSSO and Kerala.
The medal winners were felicitated by Neelam Khajuria, Additional Secretary YS and Sports and Misbah Arjumand, Under-Secretary Youth Services and Sports in the presence of a galaxy of officers and officials.