Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju laid foundation stones for different sports facilities, costing over 12 crores in Leh, Ladakh. Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Radha Krishna Mathur was also present. Rijiju laid the foundation for a synthetic track and AstroTurf for football in Lahat Open Stadium.
Speaking on occasion, Rijiju said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Government is instilling a sporting culture in the country, which keeps the people healthy and fit. He said that Khelo India, University Games, and Winter Games at various state levels encourage the students, youth, and other people to participate in sporting activities. Rijiju emphasized the importance of sports and highlighted the Government’s efforts to establish the predominance of India in the world sports events.
Rijiju suggested that the Ladakh Union Territory Administration constitute awards and incentives like jobs for local sportspersons. It could be done to encourage them to excel in the sporting field. He also called for the Ice Hockey Associations nationwide to recognize the sport by following the laid-down procedures. He reminded the federations that, in principle, his ministry has acknowledged Ice Hockey as a national sport.
For sports infrastructure and development in Ladakh, Rijiju announced relaxations at the function. Under the Khelo India program, the ministry would relax the norms and provide funds and facilities for districts there, as suggested by the Administration as Khelo India district sub-centers. Similarly, sportspersons who excelled in local events would get training in 23 centers of excellence across the country, depending on their sporting disciplines.
Speaking on occasion, Mathur appealed to the Sports Minister to tap the potential in Ladakh for sports development. He suggested that people from other parts of the country should come to Ladakh to experience and learn winter sports during the season.
As part of the month-and-half long Fit India Freedom Run from 15 August to 2 October, Rijiju personally participated in Cyclothon earlier in the day and member of parliament Jamyang Namgyal, along with local cyclists. Many other senior officials from Ladakh Union Territory and Sports Authority of India were also present at various programs held on the day.