IMPHAL, August 26: “Considering that the tiny state had five sportspersons representing the vast county during the recent London Olympics, one ought to say that Manipur describes India and not otherwise”, said MOA vice president N Shyamananda during a reception ceremony of Olympian Kh Kothajit Singh at the Khuman Lampak Hockey Stadium.
He further wished the young Kothajit to captain the Indian Hockey team at the Rio Olympics.
Elaborating on the need of the state authorities to identify young players with abilities and talent, he said, “We need to start the ‘Catch the Young’ programme in the state to produce more Olympians and champions”.
Further addressing the reception ceremony, he added that just participation in the Olympics is an achievement for the sportspersons.
There is also a need of the government to look into the sports infrastructure of the state.
He elaborated that the government need to improve the sports facilities in the state in the earliest and urge the centre for help if the state government is unable to develop the sporting facilities of the state.
Meanwhile, praising the Posterior Hockey Academy Manipur, Hockey Olympian, Kh Kothajit said that PHAM brought him to the spot where he is today.
He elaborated that there is a need for many such clubs and organizations like PHAM in the state that encourages players.
PHAM president, Th Nabachandra who graced the function as the guest of honour said, PHAM was established in the year 2000.
He continued that his club has produced several international players both men and women and added that he will try his level best to continue doing so.
He also expressed his happiness that one of his players has today become an Olympian.
Manipur Hockey president, Ksh Thoiba who is himself an Olympian expressed his sincere apology that Kothajit was left out from the state reception of Olympians at the Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium.
He elaborated that he was discouraged when he saw that Kothajit’s name and photo was left out from the banner of the reception ceremony and left early without attending the reception.
He however lauded the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi for clearing on the issue and encouraging sportspersons of the state.
He also expressed his desire for the state to treat its past, present and future Olympians in a befitting manner.
An Olympian receiving an Olympian of the same game has never happened in the past, he said.
The ceremony was organized by Posterior Hockey Academy, Manipur and Manipur Hockey.