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Jammu Half Marathon 2018 | A signal to the world about J&K's peace, potential and hospitality
11/29/2018 11:39:11 PM
Payal Jain

Jammu Athletes Club marked the greatest streak in sports history in J&K by bringing in international athletes first time ever to the city of temples in their very first edition of Jammu Half Marathon held on 11th Nov'18 signalling to the world at large about being a peace believer with huge talents at disposal. The image that the runners from Kenya, Denmark and other places who visited Jammu for the very first time carried with them is the warmth and love displayed in the hospitality and the progressive mind set of hosting such high stature marathon event.
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been struggling seeking greater people-to-people engagement with the rest of the nation on account of misinterpretations and perceptions about the state and these perceptions about the state can only be changed by better interaction between people. Events like JAC Half marathon and others project through collaborative efforts the real side of J&K which is far above than the problems highlighted which can be at any parts of the world. Every person visiting J&K is a very powerful interlocutor, and how he experience the state needs to be spread for its progress is that it is a peaceful state.
"It felt great, I didn't know what to expect as there is a certain image in mind when you come to J&K. It is surely none of that and is so peaceful. The event speaks high of the progressive mind-set of the organisers. I am sure I along with other international runners will be coming often to Jammu," a Kenyan runner said.
As Gaurav Gupta and Vikram Gupta, the founder and co-founder of JAC saw and witnessed dearth of opportunities for a common man in the state in the athletic field, they were moved by the absence of farsightedness or zeal to raise the sports bar despite the presence of the immense talent in the state. Being the respectable and responsible citizens, these two young entrepreneurs decided to work for the cause rectifying the same and use sports that could alter the mind-set of the youth to constructive and confident state with an aim to give something back to their state for the little they have achieved from here. Thus conceptualised Jammu Athletes Club to encourage, promote and regulate athletic sports by creating opportunities par global excellence in Jammu & Kashmir while promoting life in balance concept through healthy and fit lifestyles. They conceptualised the marathon in month of July with a dream to signal to the rest of the world that Jammu and Kashmir is pursuing peace, harmony and development in all aspects and with the state's sportspersons proving their mettle at various levels, they felt to give a platform to their community to be proud of and trying every bit to create world class sports events and facilities for the local talent to flourish.
Discussing the idea, Gaurav and Vikram found that a lot of people feel this way and wants to work for the development of sports resulting in the core group of JAC that worked day and night working this event a grand success. It is pertinent to mention that the core group, Vasu Gupta, Prabhat Singh, Surinder Choudhary, Sham Suri, Rajinder Gupta,Dilawar Khan, Gagan, Prince, Ishan, Jai Sharma, Kanav Padha, Rasmeet, Rakesh, Rajeshwar, Jagdish Sharma, all of them considered themselves as ambassadors of J&K and worked together with their coordinated efforts projecting a positive image of the state and a safe destination like any other place in India. Be it a marathon event or a golf one, organising such events will help to send a loud and clear message that Jammu and Kashmir is a safe destination to visit and fans can come and enjoy themselves as tourists and sports lovers. Such events celebrate and support a sense of community and must encourage participation by all people.
At least for them, a visit to this Paradise is worth the while. Sports can bring a change in your lives. Children can be misguided easily but channelizing their energies to the right sources will change the future course and their own fate through the power of sports and education.
Gaurav Gupta said, "Children from Jammu and Kashmir should also be given atmosphere and opportunity to develop like that of the other parts of the country the youth get a chance to grow. JAC aims to provide that chance."
Vikram Gupta feels that the three regions of the State as a perfect example of a harmonious society. "We need support within state and across the country in changing public perception about J&K, which has gone through very difficult and turbulent times. J&K has been an epitome of coexistence of cultural integration and as citizens it is our duty to put the things in the right perspective. The hospitality of our people is known far and wide and hosting such events only strengthens that as its greatest strength and projects the potential and development mind set of our people," he said.
JAC teammates were elated to see the excitement and encouragement and hopes the race can grow from here, already planning a second one and also other events in line. Jammu Athletes Club is the very first athletes club of J&K state which is committed to provide support to amateur and professional athletes while uplifting the development of sports in the state including running, cycling, swimming etc. Noticing the immense talent within the youth of the state, JAC intent to harness the potential of determined and dedicated athletes and create champions through world class sports events, mentor support and needed assistance here in Jammu. This is really a proud moment for Jammu residents and the people of J&K that the first international-level marathoners ran on the roads of Jammu celebrating health and fitness while spreading the message to stay away from drugs. This is just an onset of a sports events era in the state and we wish JAC will leave no stone unturned to bring athletic euphoria to the state while presenting a progressive and constructive side of J&K to the world.
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