by sportswire4u.blogspot.com (Balbir)
LUDHIANA, FEB 28
Punjab today scripted a new chapter in the history of sports by organizing the biggest ever prize money Shaheed –e–Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games in 11 sports disciplines at the Guru Nanak Stadium here tonight. The main aim of organising these games is to wean away youth from intoxicants and encouraging them to adopt sports as a career.
As Punjab Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Sports Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal declared the sports extravaganza, the sky was lit with sparkling fireworks. The glitter of the show became blinding as Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, who has agreed to become Ambassador of Shaheed – e – Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games, mesmerized the jam packed audience with his athletic dance work.
Players from 20 districts took part in an impressive march past during the gala and glitter of opening ceremony of Punjab Games. It may be added that the opening ceremonies of Punjab Games were choreographed by Prof. Bansi Kaul who had choreographed the ceremony of New Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Badal said that “these games were my passion and I have institutionalized the arrangement that these games become an annual feature.” He said that the one of the main objectives of these games was to wean away the youth from drugs as well as a sedentary way of life by encouraging them to join sports as a movement.
He said that the tournament would prepare the youth to compete with confidence even at the national and international levels. He announced that the state government has finalized a policy in the last Cabinet meeting that more talented among sportsmen would get an opportunity to secure employment in Government / Semi Government Organizations.
Renowned Punjab folk singer Harbhajan Mann enthralled audience, a strong troupe of 2900 artists of North Zone Cultural Centre presented a spectra of dances from different states amalgamating into one conveying the underlined message unity and diversity.
The riot of colors synchronized with laser lights moved the audience to a fantasy as most of the audience remain glued to their seats even after the show, refusing to believe that it was a live show.
Competitions will be held in athletics basketball, boxing, football, hockey, kabaddi, shooting, volleyball, weightlifting , wrestling and tug-of-war at Ludhiana, Mohali, Patiala and Jalandhar. The closing ceremony of the games would be held at Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park Jalandhar.
Punjab Sports Director Padam Shree Pargat Singh speaking on the occasion said that the district teams for these prestigious games had been selected through open trials in most transparent manner. Every district team including officials has been provided a sports kit of specific colour and design that was unique for each district at the cost of Rs. 1 crore.