Punjab takes to golfing and shooting to promote sports culture

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Jalandhar, July 16 (ANI): Call it a sporting culture or the new club class of Punjab, golfing has hit the popularity curve across the state. The teenagers are committed to bringing laurels to Punjab. Four of these budding golfers are among ten children from India, who will proceed to the US to take part in the World Cup Championship at North Carolina.At the 18-hole Jalandhar Golf Course, they are practicing hard to win the title.

Run by the Punjab Police, the Golf Course helps nurture talent and broadens the base of competitive golf. "I took up golf because it has a very good future in India. Golf is a new game in our country unlike cricket, basketball and football. It has been a year since I have been playing golf at Pab club. I have been selected for the World Cup tournament. My family is very happy and hope that I will win the World Cup," said Gursech Singh Gill, golfer, member, World Cup team.

It charges no green fee from the budding golfers below the age of 15 years. And, this in turn attracts more kids to join the Club. "This year, I went to Bangalore where I came fourth. But I did not perform well in Coimbatore. But I am still in merit list in India. I stand 8th in the country," said Maalvika, a young golfer.

At the inexpensive golfing facility in Punjab, the kids are getting tips from coach Balwinder Singh Mattu, a professional player. "Golf has started getting recognition in India. People from Punjab have been showing great interest in it. This year 25 students in the age group of 5 to 15 years have enrolled with me. Out of that four have been selected for the World Cup who are six to seven year old. Golf has a good future and can guarantee free study and quick sponsorships," said Mattu.

Shooting too fascinates youngsters in Punjab. 14-year-old Ajitesh Kaushal was selected in the Indian junior shooting squad on the basis of his performance at the national event in 2008.Kaushal secured the first position in the air pistol 10-metre in Hungary last year. Following this, he was included among the first eight players in the senior category. "This sport is recognized internationally. It is the national game of Italy. Countries like the US, China and Croatia are amongst the top rankers in the world. Punjab has a bright future in this game. We need better facilities, improvement in ranges, ammunition and coaches. India has a dearth of good coaches," said Kaushal.Be it traditional hockey and wrestling or contemporary sports such as golf and shooting, they are getting ready for competiton. By Sumit Khanna (ANI)

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