Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Khelo India Centre of Excellence in Rowing in Srinagar on Saturday. The training centre, situated in Dal Lake, that comes under the Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council was upgraded with modern facilities and equipment including 16 new boats — four each in single sculls and double sculls. Also Read - Virat Kohli Best Batsman In World: Tim Paine

Four coxless four boats too have been purchased for the centre that has 50 regular athletes under the scheme. “The region has huge potential. The training centre will give a chance to youngsters of the region to excel through water sports,” said the sports minister. Also Read - WTC 2021: Hanuma Vihari Confident Of India Doing Outstanding Things

“The new set of equipment will give a further boost to water sports activities in the region,” said a national level coach from Kashmir valley. Earlier this year, the sports ministry had organised Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg in the Kashmir valley. Also Read - Coronavirus In India: Recoveries Surpass Fresh Cases For 5th Straight Day; Govt Says Situation Stabilising

“The sports ministry also plans to start a Khelo India Women’s Football League and a marathon race in Pahalgam,” the minister added. The ministry will initially provide a one-time grant of Rs 145.16 lakh to the rowing centre and an annual recurring grant of Rs 96.17 lakh for the development of water sports in the region.

The central government had upgraded facilities for fencing at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu. There are currently 24 Khelo India training centers across the country.