Punjab youth break drug myth, shine at National Games
From quite sometime Punjab is being portrayed as the poster child of the drug problem in the country and it had become a notion that the most youth of the state are addicted.chandigarh Updated: Feb 15, 2015 08:00 IST
But this notion is unfounded and driving home the point is Punjab's performance in the recently concluded National Games in Kerala. The state won 93 medals, including 27 golds, coming in fifth on the overall medals tally. This is a jump of four places from the last edition held in 2011 in Ranchi.
Punjab finished seventh in the 33rd Games in Assam in 2007.
Limited government support
The efforts of the Punjab contingent are even more praiseworthy as they are given limited support from the state government. Since the Hyderabad National Games in 2002, Punjab's sportspersons have not got the promised cash awards for winning medals at the national level.
While neighbouring Haryana has kept on increasing the cash incentive with each passing edition and as per their new sports policy, the medallists at the Kerala Games will be awarded by `5,3, and 2 lakh for bagging gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively. Haryana finished an overall third with 107 medals, including 40 gold. In the previous edition too they were third.
"In the last two editions of the Games we were continuously losing out our dominance. But this time our players performed really well and finished overall fifth. I am happy that once again Punjab is back in the top bracket," said Raja KS Sidhu, secretary general of the Punjab Olympic Association.
"If with the limited support our players are performing so well, I am sure if the government makes sports a priority and start dispersing the cash awards well in time, we will be among the top three in the next edition of the Games," he added.
Shooting remains the forte
Punjab, which has a history of producing world-class shooters, won maximum medals in the event. The state shooters bagged 15 medals, including seven gold.
Leaving aside Services Punjab shooters won the maximum number of medals among the states and Union Territories.
After shooting, the biggest chunk came from judo, with the state judokas contributing 11 medals, including five gold followed by athletics and wrestling, which contributed 10 medals each. firstname.lastname@example.org
The state's rank over the years
33rd National Games Guwahati, 2007: Punjab: 7th
34th National Games Ranchi, 2011: Punjab 9th
35th National Games Kerala, 2015: Punjab 5th