The players from Punjab are participating in large number in the Asian Games beginning from 18th August in Jakarta (Capital of Indonesia). The more than half strength of hockey and rowing teams comprises of Punjabi players. The number of players from Punjab including all the sports comes to more than 40 which is why there are big expectations of medals from them.” These views were expressed by the Sports Minister, Punjab, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi here today in a statement after touring the sports complexes at sector-63 and 78.Rana Sodhi expressed strong hope that the Indian contingent would perform exceedingly well in the Asiad. Encouraging Punjabi players, he said that the medal winners would be honoured with the cash prizes as per the sports policy. Giving details, he said that the Gold, Silver and the Bronze medal winners would be rewarded with the cash prizes of Rs. 26 lakh, Rs. 16 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh respectively.
He further said that a function would be held in the aftermath of the Asiad in which the medal winners from Punjab in this year’s Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast as well as those from the Asiad in Jakarta would be felicitated with the cash prizes.The Sports Minister added that Punjab has always remained a powerhouse of sports and its players always constitute a large number of those in the nation’s contingent. The performance of the state in sports arena off late has not been satisfactory and effective measures are being taken to again restore the prime position of Punjab in sports. He termed it as a matter of honour for Punjab that in the hockey team selected for Asiad the state has 8 while the rowing team has 9 players from Punjab. Apart from this, handball team has 3 female and 2 male, athletics has 3, cycling, shooting, wrestling and women’s kabaddi has 2 while martial art and weightlifting has 1 player each from Punjab. He expressed confidence that Punjabi players would shine in the Asiad.Rana Sodhi also elaborated that the Punjab Government is fully committed to restore the lost glory of Punjab in the sports field.
He also disclosed that the sports lovers in the private/corporate sector and also those hailing from the NRI diaspora are eager to contribute to make Punjab a powerhouse of sports once again. The State Government would enlist the help of such people for the all round development of sporting infrastructure. The minister on the occasion also held discussions with the officers from the Sports Department and directed them to beautify the hockey stadium of sector-63 sports complex. The minister also visited the building of the sports hostel as well as various grounds inside the complex. Similarly, he also held interactions with the officers from the department regarding the measures needed for the upkeep of the sector-78 sports complex. The minister assured that the shortcomings brought to his notice during his visit to both the sports complexes would be sorted out soon and no stone would be left unturned to provide state of the art infrastructure to the players.Prominent among others who were present on the occasion included Director Sports Mrs. Amrit Kaur Gill, Director (Technical) Punjab Institute of Sports (PIS) Mr. Sukhbir Singh Grewal, Director (Administration) Mr. R.S. Singh Sodhi and Assistant Director Sports Department Mr. Kartar Singh Sembi.