SAS Nagar: Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer on Saturday said that ‘Khedan Watan Punjab Diyan’ is being organized by the Sports Department, which will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister at Jalandhar on August 29.

About 5 lakh players will participate in these sports competitions, after which the pool of winning players of the state level tournament will be formed who will go on to compete at the national and international level.

The Sports Minister said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has also a keen interest in the sports and he is leaving no stone unturned to make Punjab the number one state again.

Best wishing the sports contingent of Punjab in the 36th National Games to be held in Gujarat next month, Sports Minister handed over a check of Rs 50 lakh for National Games and assured to take up the matter with CM Mann for further assistance.

The Sports Minister said that the state government is formulating a new sports policy in which emphasis will be given on giving cash prizes to sportsmen, providing jobs, encouraging young sportsmen.

He also extended an invitation letter to the Punjab Olympic Association and all sports associations.

Meet Hayer said that Punjab was number one in national sports in 2001 but then the state continued to lag behind. The state government will now formulate a new sports policies and 220 coaches are being recruited and more posts of coaches will be created and posted at the village, block and sub division level to booster sports department.

He further said that there is no shortage of talent in Punjab, only skills need to be polished. Sports budget is being increased by the state government. Priority will be given to providing sports equipment.

A review is being done to see the sports structure at the ground level. He said that the solution to the drug problem will be only by creating a sports environment. The sports department is paying special attention to channelize the energy of the youth towards sports. The players who win medals at the national and international level will be given permanent employment.

The diet is being increased. If necessary, the sports department will take the services of foreign coaches.

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