The State Government is committed to provide better sports infrastructure at the grass root level to provide better facilities to rural youth so as to bring the talent of the rural areas to fore according to J.R. Katwal, Director, Youth Services and Sports.
He said that to create better sports infrastructure in the State, 1296 play fields costing Rs. one lakh each had been sanctioned at panchayat level under Panchayat Yuva Khel Krida Abhiyan (PYKKA) and 32 play grounds costing Rs. five lakh each at block level out of which more than one thousand had been constructed so far. He said that 700 grounds had been constructed costing Rs. one lakh each under Scheduled Castes Sub Plan at grass root level adding that Rs. 50 lakh was being spent under Himachal Pradesh Play Field Association for providing play fields and creating sports infrastructure in all the districts. He said that various sports events for women, disabled and budding rural youth were being held under PYKKA and as many as 24,000 students from different corners of the State participate each year in various sports events organized by the Department of Youth Service and Sports He said that youths were given Sports Coaching by Krida Shrees appointed by the department. At present 1328 Krida Shrees were working in the State to give training to sports persons and physical education teachers.
He said that so far 32 outdoor stadiums and four indoor stadiums had been constructed in the State where coaching facilities were provided by the Department of Youth Services and Sports in different sports categories. He said that sports complex had been established at Shimla, Dharamsala, Una and Bilaspur with multi-sports facilities adding that two synthetic athletic tracks of International level were being constructed at Hamirpur and Dharamsala costing Rs. 18 crore and to be completed by 2012.
Katwal said that Astroturf for hockey was being laid at Una, Teraflex Courts for volleyball at Dharamsala, Una and Shimla and Hova Badminton Courts at Bilaspur, Mandi and Shimla would soon be completed to facilitate the sports persons. He said that sports hostels had been constructed at Una and Bilaspur to accommodate as many as 140 sportspersons.
He said that 82 coaches were providing training to sports persons of the State in different sports streams and more coaches would be appointed soon. For the same, gymnasiums with quality infrastructure were being constructed at district levels and a sum of Rs. 40 lakh was being spent on these per annum. He said that Government was providing three percent reservation to sports persons and so far the department had provided 280 jobs to them in different categories.
He said there was a provision to award the players who had excelled themselves in various sports at National and International level. So far 1236 players had been awarded with cash awards of Rs. 1.60 crore who had excelled at International and National levels. The sportspersons who had won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in Commonwealth and Asian Games were awarded Rs. 10 lakh, Rs. five lakh and Rs. three lakh each, respectively.
Katwal said that 10 meters shooting range had been set up at Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex, Shimla to facilitate the budding shooters of the State. He said that the State Government had enhanced the budget provision from Rs. six crore in 2002-03 to Rs. 20 crore in the year 2010-11 and apart from this, Rs. 15 crore was being received from Government of India for creating urban sports infrastructure.