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Maken Infuses New Hopes With Sports Talk Sans Politics

Ajay Maken while visiting the sports complex. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 5: Literally spelling out that Manipur has rightly earned the tag of sports power house in India as well as the fast growing sports movement and the emergence of outstanding athletes Union MoS for Youth Affairs and Sports Ajay Maken, has assured that steps to ensure all round development of sports will be taken up on a war footing here.

Living up to its tag of powerhouse of sports in India, Manipur, whose population constitutes only about .02  percent of the country, has produced nine Olympians, two Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees and a battery of excellent international players.

Many youngsters from Manipur are today plying their skills and trade on the maidans of West Bengal and other places such as Goa and Punjab, and making a name for themselves in the I-League.

On the  second of his three-day visit to Manipur, the young Minister, while interacting with young athletes at the National Sports Academy Complex at Khuman Lampak  here on Tuesday afternoon, said the Centre will study how best to develop sports in Manipur.

Maken said the Centre will prioritize equipments and coaches in sports development in the North East and Manipur in particular.

Stating that engaging foreign coaches for certain disciplines would not be possible all the time, the MoS stressed on for Indian coaches to learn from the best foreign coaches and pass on their knowledge back to the country’s athletes.

Lauding the great sports potential in the State, the minister pointed out the need to spread the sports infrastructure beyond Imphal.

“A few days ahead of my maiden visit to Manipur, madam Soniajee, who recalled Rajivji’s visit in this State way back in 1987, suggested that I study all possible ways and means to develop sports resources in the State,” he said.

Before joining the interaction session, the Minister along with senior Central and State sports officials inspected the existing infrastructure developments at Khuman Lampak sports complex.

Maken inaugurated the self-explanatory ‘Youth Employability Skill’ (Yes) Project at Imphal with one hundred youths being enrolled out of the total 8000 youths to be drawn from the North East region.

An awareness program on the said project was held at Churachandpur today

The first of its kind in the North East, the project covers skill related training to prepare them for the job market or to become job givers by way of setting up their own units, official sources said.

The Minister also announced the names of cyclist champ Km Suchitra Devi Konsam and National player in Triathlon Km Linthoinganbi as youth ambassador of the said YES project.

Before wrapping up his three-day visit, Maken will inspect Sports Authority of India (Sai) North East regional centre at Takhel here on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile Manipur Youth Affairs Department and sports submitted a memorandum to Maken urging the setting up of regional football and boxing academies, one  time grant for playground development , equipment support for cyclists of the State, revision of estimates for district sports complex and  declaration of Imphal as ‘sports city’.

The memo also sought additional infrastructure for installation of artificial football turf and special finance package for implementation of State Youth Policy 2011.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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