Future of India`s Sports in Manipur : Ajay Maken

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IMPHAL, April 5 : Union Minister of state for youth affairs and sports Minister Ajay Maken who is on a three day visit today told that future of the country’s sports lies in Manipur. Addressing and interacting with sportspersons of the state today at National Sports Academy complex today at Khuman Lampak Sports complex today promised that more attention will be given to Manipur with continuous endeavor in developing all the required sports infrastructures.
The union minister told that Manipur was the second state to be visited by him after he became the sports minister and this was done as directed by UPF chairperson Sonia Gandhi that Manipur gets adequate support in sports infrastructure and that her husband and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had a vision for look east sports policy. It may be recalled that Rajiv Gandhi established Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the year 1987 in Manipur and a sports meet for the north east region was also held.
The minister was said to have been directed by Sonia Gandhi prior to his 3-day visit to Manipur to review the existing sports infrastructure in the wake of state’s excellent performance by becoming the top Indian state with 118 medals in the recent National Games in Jharkhand. Manipur produced hordes of national and international players including 9 Olympians, two Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees and nine Arjuna awardees.
The minister heard the grievances of the sportspersons of the state especially railway reservations and assured the sportspersons of the state that they would no longer face railway reservations as he had already talked about this matter with Union Raiulway Minister Mamta Banerjee. The minister also affirmed that highest percentage of fund allocation for sports would be made to Manipur.
“Coaches from Manipur would be sent abroad for training in their respective fields which would be more feasible than hiring foreign coaches to train sportspersons of the state.as foreign coaches are very expensive” He said.Boys and girls hostel of the sports academy would also be separated in the earliest possible time and other lacking sports infrastructures would soon be provisioned after he flies back to Delhi he further stated.
.Meanwhile the state sports department in a memorandum submitted to the visiting sports minister expressed the need of Academy of Football as football is a discipline which is very much suited to the players of the state and that many talents are lying hidden, unexplored and unseen amd urged the minister to provide a special package to establish a regional academy of football in the state so hat the state may produce more players for the country. The department also proposed that a special one time grant of Rs. 10 to 20 lakhs per field be made to develop at least 200 playfields all over the state. The need for setting up a boxing academy was also urged as the state have produced a good number of boxers who have earned laurels for the country. Provising world class equipments to the cyclists of the state for training and competition purposes is also a necessity as the cyclists of the state Ch. Rameshwori Devi won 6 gold medals in the recently concluded 34th National; Games. The memorandum also demanded in recognition of the achievements of the payers of the state and to provide an inspiration to the upcoming sportspersons of the state to declare Imphal city as sports city.
The memorandum further proposed that a special grant for construction and installation of artificial turf of football and that the ministry accord a financial package to the state sports department to accord a financial package to enable to implement the state youth policy which was approved by the  government and has been framed in line with National Youth Poicy keeping in view the varied dimension of social, economical and political situation in the state.
Manipur Olympic Association urged to set up a full-fledged medical science centre and provide Indoor stadias for boxing, Judo,Tae-Kwon-Do,Weightlifting and Wushu, procurement of equipment through federation, financial assistance for hosting 2nd Youth National Games 2012 at Imphal as per approval of hosting by Indian Olympic Association and revival of railway concession at Imphal as the necessary amount for opening railway concession at Imphal is still lying with the commercial manager, NF railway, Mailigaon, Assam.

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