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Sports in Jammu and Kashmir



Popular sports in Jammu and Kashmir include cricket and football along with sports like golf, winter sports, water sports and adventure sports. Jammu and Kashmir has produced international and national level players including Gul Dev (first Kashmiri Olympian), Aamir Aziz, Chain Singh, Iqra Rasool, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Mithun Manhas, Abid Nabi, Parvez Rasool, Tajamal Islam and Palak Kaur.

Against the background of the Kashmir conflict and tension in the state, government initiatives in the sports sector are promoted specifically trying to draw the youth away from the conflict. The Indian Army also conducts sporting activities for the youth in the region through various welfare initiative such as Operation Sadbhavana. Lack of infrastructure, politicization, lack of support are other issues hampering growth of the sports in the region.

Sporting activities



Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir

Cricket is the second most popular sport in Jammu and Kashmir after football. Recently Ifran Pathan was made the mentor and coach of the Jammu and Kashmir cricket team. The team participates in the events such as the Ranjhi Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. Popular players to have come from the region include Parvez Rasool, Mithun Manhas and Manzoor Dar who have played T20 IPL matches for team such as Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. Other cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir include Jasia Akhtar who was the first women from Jammu and Kashmir to be selected for the India women's national cricket team and Amir Hussain Lone who is the captain of Jammu and Kashmir's para cricket team.

There is criticism related to excessive politicization and lack of professionalism and support in development of the sport in the region.

Football in Jammu and Kashmir

Football, the most popular sport in Jammu and Kashmir, first came to Jammu and Kashmir in 1891-92 by Tyndale Biscoe. The first time a football team from the region participated in the Santosh Trophy was in 1964.

Teams from Jammu and Kashmir which play in the I-League are Real Kashmir F.C. (division one) and Lonestar Kashmir F.C. (division two). Mehrajuddin Wadoo from Srinagar has represented the Indian National Football Team and also plays in the Indian Super League.

Jammu and Kashmir has produced nineteen international players (from the school level to the senior team) such as Abdul Majeed Kakroo. Players from the region have been part of top football teams in India such as Mohun Bagan A.C. and East Bengal F.C. (such as Ishfaq Ahmed). Basit Ahmed and Mohammed Renbar were chosen to play football with Sociedad Deportiva Lenense Proinastur (SD Lenense), a third division Spanish team, part of a public outreach program of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and J&K Football Association. Other initiatives such as a football team for every village in the Kashmir Valley has also been initiated by the government in 2017.

Marathons in Jammu and Kashmir

Marathons that have been conducted in the region include the Ladakh Marathon, the Great Tibetan Marathon and the Kashmir International Half Marathon. The Ladakh Marathon is recognised by Association of International Marathons and Distance Races and is one of the highest marathon in the world.

Adventure Sports

Jammu and Kashmir, with its hilly terrain and swift flowing rivers, offers great scope for adventure sports such as Heliskiing, Ice Skating, Ice Hockey, water skiing, paragliding and mountaineering and Snowboarding.

Tsewang Paljor and Tsewang Samanla from Leh was part India's first team to reach the summit of Mount Everest (from the North Col side). Sonam Wangyal, also from Leh, climbed Mount Everest when he was 23, making him the youngest person to do so at the time.

Infrastructure and institutions

Jammu and Kashmir has 19 stadiums, 23 training centers, three indoor sports complexes and 43 government maintained playing fields. This includes Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, TRC turf ground, Bakshi Stadium, Amar Singh Club Ground, Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground and the Maulana Azad Stadium.

Srinagar District also has two golf courses - Kashmir Golf Club and Royal Spring Golf Course.Institutions such as the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports provides mountaineering, skiing and adventure courses.

Synthetic Turf Football Stadium, TRC Polo Ground

The TRC ground is Jammu and Kashmir's first football stadium. It has imported synthetic football turf. The synthetic turf for the stadium has been imported from Italy. The stadium has a capacity for 15000 spectators. The field is of international standard size.

Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium

Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium is a cricket stadium located in Srinagar. It is home to the JKCA and Jammu and Kashmir cricket team which represents the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy and other domestic tournaments in the country. National Cricket Academy is currently constructing an indoor complex at the stadium.

Jammu & Kashmir State Sports Council

The Jammu & Kashmir State Sports Council objectives include promoting sports activities in the State among the student and non-student youth, creating and developing sports infrastructure in various parts of the State and providing financial assistance and grants. The Organisation is headed by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and the Sports Minister as its President and Vice-President respectively. The Sports Council functions at State, Divisional and District level.

Awards

The government of Jammu & Kashmir has introduced various awards to inspire not only the sports people, but also coaches and sports associations. Following are some of these awards:
  • Sher-I-Kashmir Award and Medal
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award and Medal
  • Parshuran Awards and Medals
  • Brig Rajinder Singh Award and Medal for Men
  • Madri-I-Meharban Award and Medal
  • Chief Minister’s Gold Rolling Trophy

    Sports Associations

    There are over 40 official registered sports associations in the region such the J&K Cricket Association and the J&K Football Association. Other associations under the sports council include the J&K Yoga Association, J&K Cycling Association and the J&K Billiard and Snooker Association. Associations have also been set up for the deaf as well for veterans.