New Delhi: Golf made accessible to the common man. It is no longer the game of the elite. Dream of Inclusive society being realised.
First time in the history of Kashmir which is considered the golf capital of the country and is having international golf courses a Golf academy is opened by the government for the Government school children and golf lovers.
Kashmir, which has hosted hundreds of international golfer’s across the globe in prestigious golf tournaments in the Union Territory in past, has never witnessed a middle-class individual joining the game. Even entering the golf course remained a distant dream for a common man Kashmiri in past.
But now things are have changed Jammu and Kashmir government has made this royal game accessible to a common middle-class person of Kashmir.
The first batch to young Kashmiri golfer’s is undergoing 15 days of training in a century-old heritage Kashmir golf course. In the first 15 days, a training course total of 50 students of various government schools of Srinagar will take the training among them 25 are girls and 25 are boys.
The participants are excited and happy that they are playing the game which they know is only meant for rich people’s and are thankful to the government of Jammu and Kashmir for providing them such a platform.
Player Resha said, “This is the first batch of golf from Kashmir we were not aware of golf in schools we have played first-time golf and this is the first batch of Kashmir golf was known as the royal game which belonged to rich families but now people below the poverty line will also play the game we are very thankful to our governor who has given us this opportunity.”
Another player Rehana said, “We have heard this is played by people who belong to rich families we have never thought we will play this game there were all games in school but golf was not there as we don’t belong to rich families we feel very good that we are playing this game. We thank the government that they provide us this opportunity.”
Kashmir golf club is one of the oldest golf clubs with rich history, is the second only in the country after the Royal Golf Club, Kolkata is providing those students this training free of cost. From equipment to refreshment everything is given free to them. There is a full-time coach training them and eminent coaches of the country will come to help in training to this first batch.
The restoration work of the historic Golf Course which was in shambles after the 2014 floods have been done in the best way while maintaining its heritage. The aim behind the opening of the first golf academy is to make golf accessible to common people and to give the best golf players to the country from Kashmir. The authorities are of the view that talent of the sports can’t be limited, it always comes out in one form or the other just needs an opportunity. And With proper resources and the right training, Kashmir can produce Golf champions in the future.
Javeed Bakhsi ( MD Golf development authority) said, “We have physically fit youth to play golf so we thought of academy so that we can train people from this age so that they can play for the country at national or international level. The academy will provide them training in a professional manner. Golf is a game of discipline it’s a bit different game that’s why was called an elite game but we have broken that barrier too this initiative is taken by LG.”
“We have 25 girls session in the morning and 25 boys session in the evening all are from various government schools of Srinagar we had coached for them here and all those international players will come to play here will give them lectures too. We have good potential but a little bit we need to handle it and we are hopeful that out of this batch you will see a national level player soon,” he added.
The government is having a huge plan to boost the sports activities in Jammu and Kashmir. A multi-pronged strategy of developing sports infrastructure, organising sports events across the UT, arranging the best coaches, continuously monitoring and fully utilising the assets has been prepared. Jammu and Kashmir is a powerhouse of sporting talent and the administration is working diligently in creating a flourishing sports culture and providing the right platforms to budding sportspersons.
At least 17 national-level sports events will be held in Jammu and Kashmir alone this year so that youth get an opportunity to show their talent. More than 17 lakh children will take part in different sports avenues this year across Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister is also showing interest in the sports activities of Jammu and Kashmir have given Rs. 200 crore to enhance and upgrade the sports infrastructure of J&K under PMDP (Prime Minister development package).