Gurdaspur to name stadiums, playgrounds after 13 Olympians

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, May 5

The district administration has chalked out an elaborate plan wherein it will be naming newly built stadiums and existing sports facilities in the names of the 13 Olympians born in the district.

DC Himanshu Aggarwal recently formed a committee to identify the district’s Olympians. Within days, the committee submitted its report and named the players. They are Surjit Singh Randhawa who was unanimously heralded as the best defender in the world in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. A hockey stadium in Jalandhar has been named after him. A popular tournament is also held there annually. In the same city, the Punjab Government runs the successful Surjit academy for youngsters. Surjit Singh belonged to Dakhla village near Batala. Last month, some sports lovers had installed a life-size statue of the player in one of the main thoroughfares of Batala city.

Sports Seminars

  • Sports-centric seminars and lectures will also be delivered by international sportsmen in schools where the Olympians studied
  • Tournaments will also be held in that particular sport in which the particular Olympian had excelled

Other Olympians are Ramandeep Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Mukhbain Singh, Sukhjit Singh Cheema, Simranjit Singh, Swaranjit Singh and Brig Harcharan Singh Boparai (retd) (all hockey), Avtar Singh (Judo), Manjit Kaur (Athletics), Paramdeep Singh Teja (Basketball), Ajit Singh Bhullar and Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal (Athletics).

Officials say where stadiums cannot be built, playgrounds will be named after these players. Earlier, there was a proposal to name important roads and streets, but it fell through.

“A large number of permissions have to be taken from different departments which would have been a cumbersome process. We then decided to drop the suggestion,” said a Sports Department officer.

The DC said, “This is the first phase of the plan. In the second phase, we will identify players who have taken part in world cups, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and honour them.”

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