Department of Forest, Environment and Ecology, is all set to display its sports excellence at the ‘All India Forest Sports Meet’ to be held in Telangana.
The All India Forest Sports Meet is being organized since 1992 under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), Government of India. J&K Forest Department is participating in the All India Forest Sports Meet since 1993 and has carved out a special niche for itself by winning several medals especially in sports like Cricket, Football, Billiards, Snookers etc.
The departmental selection committee headed by the Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh organised the trials for the sportspersons of the department and the final teams would be announced soon.
While interacting with the officials and participating players, the minister said it was a proud movement for the State government, especially for the Forest Department to showcase the talent at national level in such prestigious events.
“The main objective of participating in such prestigious events is to create a pool of athletes with aptitude which will possibly bring laurels for the State,” he said. “There is no dearth of talent in our department and I am on a mission to explore it thoroughly,” he said, adding “Such events will help to identify, select and nurture the hidden talent in athletics across the length and breadth of the country and the winners will be given extensive training throughout the year.”
The Minister said that as a part of professional duties, forester is supposed to trek lofty mountains, protect and patrol the forests in wilderness, roam in interior areas away from habitations and protect himself from the eminent dangers of wildlife. “In order to cope up with the stresses of arduous profession, a Forester has to necessarily remain physically fit and mentally alert,” the minister said.
“To exhibit their physical, mental fitness, participation in various sports activities provides an excellent platform,” he said. “This not only instils sportsmen spirit and fosters fraternity among foresters, but also offers an opportunity to exchange experiences and establish better linkages at State/All India level.”
Principal Chief Conservator Forest, J&K has nominated Director, State Forest Research Institute, J&K, B M Sharma as Nodal Officer for J&K for All India Forest Sports Meet.
The officials informed the Minister that last year, 22nd AIFS Meet was organized by Karnataka Forest Department. A contingent of 53 participants from J&K Forest Department participated in the event held at Bangalore from 19th -23rd December; which included 48 players and 4 management/logistic committee members and one cameraman. JK players participated in Football, Cricket, Billiards Snookers, Badminton (open as well as senior veteran), Table tennis, Lawn tennis (Female) and Athletics. The performance of J&K Sports’ contingent remained creditable in view of the medals won by the department (3 gold medals, (1 each in football, Billiards and Snookers), 1 Silver medal (in Cricket) and consolation prize in Golf.
They said that in addition to this, the state contingent could also register significant improvement, secured respectable positions in Golf as well as Table Tennis (veteran) wherein the teams reached the consolation prize as well as quarter finals positions respectively. The nominations from different wings of forest department have also been received and the Forest sports contingent selection committee under the chairmanship of Suresh Chugh, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K is supervising the selection trials in Jammu.