Jammu and Kashmir's first professional football academy was launched at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) in Srinagar in a bid to boost sports in the state.

Minister of Youth Welfare and Sports Molvi Imran Raza Ansari, who launched the academy on Thursday, said the academy will act as major sports training school and provide players a platform to prepare for national as well as international competitions.

Ansari said that overall development of sports culture and initiatives for youth development is prime focus of present government.

"This professional atmosphere will groom young athletes to reach new heights for shining at regional, national and international levels," he said.

Initially, the academy will train footballers in the age groups of 13, 15 and 18 and three professional coaches will be employed for the purpose. 

India footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo would head of the academy.

"I am sure that under the ace footballer like Wadoo, the emerging talent will scale new heights. In fact, it is a moment of celebration for us to serve the game, which is much loved in Kashmir."

"Such initiatives not only make sports a serious endeavour, but also motivate youths to pursue career in it", the Minister added.