JAMMU, MAY 3: Secretary, Youth Services and Sports Department, Sarmad Hafeez, today convened a meeting with representatives of recognized Sports Associations in Panchayat Bhawan, Jammu, to review the calendar of activities for the year 2023-24. While addressing the sports associations, Sarmad Hafeez asked them to work for betterment of athletes and address their legitimate demands. He informed the participants that massive sports infrastructure has been created in J&K which has resulted in outstanding performance of athletes at national and international level besides hosting of mega sports events. Sarmad Hafeez apprised that J&K administration has increased the capex budget along with initiating several other reformative measures to create more facilities in various sports disciplines. He stressed upon the representatives of sports associations to diversify their activities across J&K and refrain from limiting their scope to capital cities only. Secretary sought cooperation from the sports associations to achieve the target of reaching out to 70 lakh youth this year and focus on involving athletes from all age groups including participants in the new vertical of the ‘golden age ‘and ‘specially abled athletes’. Stressing on creating congenial atmosphere for women athletes to enable them participate in various sports activities and training camps, Sarmad Hafeez said that CCTV cameras and helpline numbers shall be kept available to keep a check on the ambience around the sports facilities for them. Secretary also emphasized on following guidelines of Sports Council for regulating transparency in holding the offices, conducting elections in time besides proper documentation of activities, registration of athletes and accounting of funds being provided by the Sports Council. Sarmad Hafeez informed that there is a complete synergy between the J&K Sports Council and Directorate of Youth Services and Sports. He asked the sports associations to provide valuable suggestions to the Directorate and J&K Sports Council in creation of infrastructure so that best sports facilities are made available to the athletes. He also sought active support from the representatives of the associations to eradicate drug menace which has touched dangerous prepositions. He stressed on the need to motivate the youth to embrace sports for channelizing their energies in right direction. Appreciating the role of J&K Sports Council in hosting the three editions of Khelo India Winter Games successfully, he said the endeavour also helped in promotion of tourism. Secretary asked the representatives that proper plan of sports activities be devised providing competitive environment to every athlete irrespective of the age groups. He directed the officers of J&K Sports Council and Directorate of Youth Services & Sports to display wall of honours of reputed athletes and sports icons in and around the sports facilities in every district to inspire the youth. He also informed that jobs to the outstanding sportspersons under SO-12 are under active consideration in the General Administration Department. Representatives of the sports associations put forth their suggestions and demands for further streamlining ofsports facilities, equipments, placement of coaches and trainers, setting up of sports medicine cell and financial support for advance training and participation in zonal competitions. Sarmad Hafeez directed the associations to submit proposals to Directorate of Youth Services & Sports and J&K Sports Council for capacity building of staff and conduct of training camps for school children. The representative of Special Olympic Bharat, J&K chapter requested the Secretary for approval of establishment of Khel Bal Sabha at Panchayat Level and Khel Yuva Sabha at Village level. Secretary also desired to conduct national level competitions for senior age groups, golden age and special abled athletes for building proper sports ecosystem in J&K. Secretary, J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull, also asked registered associations to provide proper details of revenue raised from different sponsors during hosting of national or other similar events so that proper transparency is ensured in utilization of funds. Later, Sarmad Hafeez inaugurated Gymnasium Centre at New Indoor Sports Complex, MA Stadium, Jammu and new Billiard tables placed in the Billiards Hall. Among others present in the meeting included Subash Chander Chhibber Director Youth Services & Sports, Rakesh Mangotra, Special Secretary YSS, Naresh Khajuria, Special Secretary YSS, Ashu Gupta, Joint Director Planning YSS, Dr. Zaffar Iqbal, Chief Accounts Officer, J&K Sports Council, besides other officials from YSS and Sports Council.