SRINAGAR: On the occasion of National Sports Day, the Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah, Tuesday inaugurated 25-day kayaking and canoeing camp for students of various schools at Water Sports Centre Nigeen.
The camp is being conducted after successful conclusion of the swimming camp at Nigeen. Hundreds of the students from Kashmir Harward School participated in the camp which will be followed by the students from other schools also.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism K said sports hold an important place in the overall development of the students.
He said the Department is organizing water sports activities to train local youth especially students for national and international events.
“We want to tap the talent of students at their young age. We have the necessary infrastructure here at Nigeen Water Sports Centre which we want to utilize for the benefit of the students. Schools should take part in such camps,” he said.
Earlier, the Department organized swimming camp for over a month for the local youth who participated in large numbers from diverse age groups.
The water sports activities organized by the Department of Tourism at Nigeen have drawn overwhelming response both from the locals and schools.
Director Tourism said for the water sports activities, the students have to learn swimming first which is an important skill for all the Kashmiris in a place which has so many lakes and rivers.
“We need good swimmers as we have many lakes and rivers here. The swimming is also an important skill to survive during natural calamities like floods. In 2014, only swimmers could participate in the rescue operations,” he said.
Shah said that the students will also be provided basic skills in rescue operations for earthquakes.
“We will also conduct some sessions for the students with experts form disaster management department so that the students will come to know how to save themselves during earthquakes,” he said.
On the inaugural day , the Director Tourism also made students aware about state’s geography and lakes and rivers.
The students from various schools will be given training during this camp and those who will show exemplary skills for kayaking and canoeing will be further trained so that they can participate in state and national events.
The camp is being organized in collaboration with J&K Kayaking and Canoeing Association.
National players of kayaking and canoeing including Zahoor Ahmad Latoo will be imparting training to the students who will be supervised by national women coach and international player Bilquis Mir.
On the occasion, Mir encouraged the students especially girls to participate in the water sports activities.
She said water sports have a lot of future at national and international level, especially for women.
“We will train the students here and if we find some students are good at this sport, we will ensure that they go ahead and play at state and national level. This is the right age to prepare for sub-junior state and national championships,” she said.
Principal Kashmir Harvard School and its HoD Physical Education were also present on the occasion.