Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh kicked off the North East Regional Sports Week at Main Stadium of Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, here Thursday in connection with the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
The Regional Sports Week which is organised by Youth Affairs and Sports Department, Government of Manipur is funded by North Eastern Council (NEC).
During the Sports Week which will continue till 3rd May, 2022, players and athletes from seven North East States including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and the host State Manipur will compete in select disciplines of Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Football and Table-tennis.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister, welcoming all the participating players, expressed the hosting of seven North East States in the Sports Week as a proud moment for Manipur. He added that the sports week would celebrate the sporting spirit across all the North-eastern States and would also showcase the sportsmanship of our talented players in the select disciplines.
Appreciating the dedication of the players of Manipur, N. Biren maintained that the State has always stood tall in the field of games and sports. He stated that the State has so far produced 19 Olympians, 20 Arjuna Awardees, three Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, one Dronacharya Award, one Dhyan Chand Award, six Padma Shri award, one Padma Bhushan and one Padma Vibhushan.
He continued that the State has also produced medallists in the Olympic Games, including two at the recently held Tokyo Olympics, 26 medallists in Asian Games and 30 medallists in the Commonwealth Games.
He informed the gathering that the State Government has already started the construction of ‘Manipur Olympian Park’ where the statue of all the Olympians of Manipur would be installed, as an encouragement to players of the State.
The Park would stand as a testimony to Manipur as the ‘power house of sports’. He further informed that the State Government had recently signed an MoU with Samsung Data System India Pvt. Ltd. for installation of ‘Digital Experience Centre’ at the Olympian Park and Khuman Lampak Sports Complex.
The Digital Experience Centres would create more awareness of sports among the public about the achievements of Olympians and would also help improve the performance of sportspersons in an innovative manner, he added.
The Chief Minister also expressed his hopefulness that the event would create a connection among the participating players and assured that the Government would provide all possible help for smooth conduct of the sports week.
Delivering his speech, Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) Minister Govindas Konthoujam stated that it was very fortunate for the State to host such a sports event in connection with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
He was hopeful that giving the chance to host such an event was an acknowledgement of Manipur as the powerhouse of sports. He continued that the Country had been celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, throughout the year, to commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. As such, we all should celebrate our independence, he added
The opening ceremony witnessed the Chief Minister taking salute of the marching contingents of players of the seven North East States.
Minsters Letpao Haokip, Dr. Sapam Ranjan, L. Susindro Meitei, Heikham Dingo, MLA for Wangkhei AC Thangjam Arunkumar, Commissioner, YAS Shri Bobby Waikhom, Special Secretary, YAS Namoijam Kheda Varta, Director, YAS T. Phullen Meitei, sports persons, coaches and other officials attended the opening ceremony among others.