Phagwara: In a bid to create sports culture in the state Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today announced that State government will bear all expenses for special training at abroad for outstanding players as Punjab had created a dedicated sports fund with outlay of Rs 100 crore.
Deputy CM was addressing the outstanding players during cash award ceremony held here at Lovely University on Thursday. Emphasizing the need to give special attention to promote sports, Deputy Chief Minister said state government has already setup Punjab Institute of Sports at Mohali to provide professional and scientific training to the budding players. He said eleven games would be promoted by this institute besides six centers of excellencies also be established under this institute. He stressed that Punjab has set the target to ensure maximum participation in the Indian contingent in ensuing Rio Olympic 2016.
With an aim to promote sports at grass root level Deputy CM informed that Punjab government is contemplating on a proposal to make sports education a mandatory subject at school level to give impetus to sports activities among the students. He said there would be no dearth of funds for the players and sports events as Punjab was the first state in the country to have dedicated sports fund for promotion of sports.
Deputy CM Badal today awarded international and national winners with cash prizes that included sports icons like Heena Sidhu in shooting with cash prize of Rs. 23 Lakh, Prabhjot Bajwa (Gymnastics) Rs. 22 Lakh, Manavjit Sidhu (Shooting) Rs. 17 Lakh, Ranjan Sodhi (Shooting) Rs. 15 Lakh, Manpreet Singh Rs. 14 Lakh and Harveen Sarao with Rs. 10 Lakh. Besides Mukesh Kumar and Poonam in table tennis were handed over Rs. 14 Lakh each, Gurbaj Singh (Cycling) with Rs. 13 Lakh 85 thousand, Navjit Kaur (Athletics) Rs. 9 Lakh, Swaran Singh (Rowing) Rs 5 Lakh. In addition to this cash prize distribution ceremonies would also be organized in various districts in which cabinet ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries would honour the medallists.
It may be mentioned here that sports department has invited applications from medal winners since 2011 to 2015 in various international and national sports events. After evaluating their achievements 831 players were found eligible in 2010-11, 518 in 2011-12, 745 in 2012-13 and 1470 in 2013-14 and 2014-15 for bestowing cash awards. Besides, 164 medalists were also selected who have earned laurels in various national games.
Speaking on the occasion Secretary Sports Mr. Ashok Gupta informed that four foreign coaches would be deployed in the Punjab Institute of Sports to impart professional training to the promising players. He said that State Government had already reserved 125 posts in Police department for the players form Punjab every year who would achieve laurels for the state. Chancellor of Lovely Professional University Ashok Mittal announced that LPU would waive tuition fee of all awardees and provide scholarship and free accommodation if they opt to join this institute for further studies.
Prominent among others present on the occasion included cabinet minister Ajit Singh Kohar, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Pawan Kumar Tinu and Som Parkash, Jarnail Singh Wahad chairman Markfed Punjab, Principal Secretary to Deputy CM P.S. Aujla, Secretary sports Ashok Kumar Gupta, Director sports Tajinder Singh Dhaliwal, Raja KS Sidhu Secretary General Punjab Olympic Association, Chancellor Lovely Professional University Ramesh Mittal and parents and relatives of sports icons.