"In order to bolster sporting activities in the State of Punjab, the State Government has established Maharaja Bhupindra Singh Sports University at Patiala." These views were expressed by the Sports & Youth Affairs and NRI Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi here today on the occasion of addressing the sportspersons after inaugurating the 31st North Zone Junior Athletics Championship at War Heroes stadium. The 2 day championship is being organized by the District Athletics Association. Rana Sodhi said that the Sports University is the dream project of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and has been set up to give fillip to various disciplines connected with the sports such as Sports Science, Sports Technology, Sports Management and Sports Coaching. He further said that the university would act as the guiding force for the other institutions in the field of sports and would be a centre of excellence thus instrumental in encouraging new techniques in keeping with the changing scenario in the sphere of sports.The minister further added that the Punjab Government would honour the Gold Medal winners of the Asian and the Commonwealth Games with the prize money of Rs. 1 Crore, Silver Medal winners with Rs. 75 lakh and the Bronze Medal winners with Rs. 50 lakh.
Divulging more, he said that the coaches from Punjab would be sent abroad for advanced training. He exhorted the budding players to remain away from drug menace and emulate the example of famous players such as PT Usha, Milkha Singh, Hima Das and others.Disclosing further, Rana Sodhi said that the Punjab Government has reserved 3 percent jobs for the sportspersons in the Government sector as per the sports policy. He exhorted the players to adhere to the sportsman spirit in the sporting arena and be totally devoted to their sport.The minister on the occasion presented medals to the winners of 1000 meters athletics event as well as shotput. He also took stock of the construction work of the multipurpose modern indoor sports complex coming up at the war heroes stadium at a cost of Rs. 7 Crore. Earlier, the District Sports Officer Mr. Yograj said that 600 players from 8 states namely Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are participating in the athletic championship. Among other dignitaries present on the occasion included President Punjab Athletics Association Mr. A. K. Sharma, Mr. Harbans Garcha, Simran Bhandari and Balbir Kaur Saini.