Imphal: Indian men’s Olympic medal-winning hockey team player Sanglangpam Nilakanta Sharma and women hockey team player Pukhrambam Shusila Chanu were given a rousing reception on their arrival at the Imphal International Airport here on Wednesday.
Both hockey players were received at the airport by a delegation led by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Education Minister Sorokhaibam Rajen and a host of other officials and sports enthusiasts this Wednesday evening.
While attending a reception ceremony held at Kontha Ahallup, Imphal East in honour of Olympian Nilakanta Sharma, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh informed that the State Cabinet in its recent meeting had created 18 posts reserved for Olympians of the State in the Youth Affairs and Sports Department, Government of Manipur.
The Chief Minister further informed that the created posts included 10 posts of Assistant Director for participants, five posts of Deputy Director for medal winners and three posts of Joint Director for Gold Medal winners at Olympic Games.
He also stated that a grand reception ceremony of the State’s Athletes, who participated at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, would be organized at the City Convention Centre this month and added that the respective cash rewards and job appointment orders for the remaining Olympians would be handed over to them on the occasion.
N. Biren maintained that the State Government has sincere commitment towards developing the field of games and sports as it takes a major role in instilling good discipline and manners among the youths. As the government is putting in much effort to end the drug menace from the State, it is imperative to encourage the youths, make them feel interested in games and sports and divert their minds from getting addicted to intoxicating substances, he added.
Expressing proud feelings on the heroic performances and achievements of the State’s athletes in the recent Tokyo Olympics, he stated that the young and talented Olympians would be a source of inspiration and motivation among the youths of the State. He was also hopeful that the expertise of the Olympians would be an important input in training the younger generations.
A same reception programme was also held at Thangmeband Hijam Dewan Leikai in honour of Sushila Chanu, where Forest Minister Awangbow Newmai, Education Minister Sorokhaibam Rajen and President, Hockey India Gyanendro Ningombam among others also attended.