Imphal: Manipur Thursday celebrated ‘Shannaroishingee Numit’ (Players’ Day) in commemoration of the State’s historic win of Raja Bhalendra Singh Trophy of overall team championship in the 5th National Games held in the State in 1999.
The State-level function was held at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh as the chief guest and Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) Minister Letpao Haokip as the functional president. Commissioner (YAS) Bobby Waikhom was also seated on the dais as the guest of honour.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister stressed the importance of playgrounds in moulding budding young players and promoting them up to the international level. As such, people should give up the notion of developing community halls in playgrounds, he observed.
Stating that Manipur is known to the world because of its sporting talents, he said that sports associations and clubs have been taking pivotal roles in producing good sportspersons in the State.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government already has a policy to provide monetary assistance to the clubs which produce national and international players. He also informed that Rs. 50 lakhs each had been handed over to NEROCA-FC and TRAU-FC which are currently playing in the I-League. He also said that the same amount would be given to the girls’ team KRYPHSA-FC as well.
The Chief Minister also said that the Government is currently putting in efforts in mission mode to promote Thang-Ta. He informed that 3000 mats have been procured for distribution to various Thang-Ta organizations.
Stating that the State Government has been working hard towards development of sports, he said that Khuman Lampak Main Stadium and Hockey Stadium now have flood lighting systems.
He also added that all the districts would have hockey astro-turfs apart from developing playgrounds in different villages under the Khelo India scheme. In addition to the existing 5 per cent reservation in Government employments, prize money for medal winners in Olympics and International championships had also been hiked. He said that Manipur had so far produced 17 Olympians, 19 Arjuna awardees, 26 Asian Games medalists and 30 Commonwealth Games medalists. Moreover, Manipur is the most represented State in the Indian Super League with 43 players, he added.
In his speech, Letpao Haokip said that the Government is considering including sports related classes in the syllabus. He also thanked the sports bodies for bringing the youths to the right path and contributing its mite in building up a healthy society.
The Minister said, it is heartening to see that veterans and retired sports persons usually extend full cooperation every time the Government organizes any sports related programme. This spirit should sustain for the development of sports culture in the State, he observed.
The Chief Minister also flagged off a mass run in connection with the celebration. He also gave away prizes to the maintenance team of Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in recognition of their hard work.