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Sportstar North-East Conclave: Finding ways to better the playing conditions North East Conclave

Sportstar North-East Conclave: Finding ways to better the playing conditions

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Nov 2021, 06:35 pm

Guwahati/IBNS: Sportstar hosted the first-ever  North-East Sports Conclave  on Friday  in Guwahati,  where a  host  of speakers  from different  sports  disciplines identified  vexing  issues  in the region and ways to improve the playing conditions. 

Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of  Assam, shared  his  vision for sports development in  the  NorthEast  while  Anurag  Thakur, Union  Minister of Information  & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs  & Sports, delivered the keynote address  virtually.

Thakur said the government expected more medals from rifle  shooting, wrestling and boxing at the Tokyo Games.

He  has lauded  North East's  efforts to better the sports ecosystem in the region.

"The fact  that we have  a  sports conclave  for the North-East  speaks a lot  about the  progress of these states in  sports. It is a testament to the  emergence of sporting  excellence in NE states," Thakur said  during  his  keynote  address at  Sportstar's first-ever  North-East  Sports Conclave  in Guwahati on Friday.

Mizoram Sports Minister Robert Romawia Royte said better infrastructure is key to the success of all sports in the North-East.

"Infrastructure-wise, the gap  (compared to  other  states)  is still  very  wide," said Royte.

While  football  continues to be a popular sport for North-East, Meghalaya  is also home to skilled archers.

Asked what Meghalaya is doing  to  promote other sports,  AIFF vice  president Larsing  Ming  Sawyan said: "There is  an integrated indoor  stadium, which will have multiple  sports. There  is  an input of  Rs  300  crores towards sports infrastructure."

Tokyo 2020  Olympic  medal winners — weightlifter Mirabai Chanu (silver medallist) and boxer Lovlina Borgohain (bronze  medallist) also shared their journeys.

Lovlina said,  "Even now, many parents  don't allow their daughters to play sports. I would tell them that sports have a big  future and you can make a career out of it." Mirabai spoke about the drug problem among today's youth.

"I request you all  to think  of your lives and families and turn over  a new life. Please do not use drugs. Think of your  state, your  village and your family. If you try, you will succeed."

Meanwhile, in a panel discussion on  the North-East becoming the sports hub of India, former Indian football captain Bhaichung  Bhutia  reiterated  the  need to  invest  in  athletes.

"It is time to  invest  in sportspersons, not just  infrastructure. In North-East football, the efforts  are from individual organisations  or people, there's  no support from the  states. 

Today,  when  you  play  I League  and ISL, you get a good salary package. It's unfortunate that other  sports  in  India,  besides  cricket, don't  give  such financial benefits." Manjusha, DGM Sports  Indian  Oil,  concurred  with  Bhutia.

"A  lot  needs to be  done  to get talent out of district  and village level  - that's where the  power  of sport lies. Infrastructure  alone can't  give champions; a structure can. Track talents from rural sides and bring them to  the city."

N. Ibungo Choubi,  Executive  Member – Manipur Olympic  Association, Bamang  Tago, Secretary  – Arunachal Pradesh Badminton  Association,  Tete Hmar, Secretary  Mizoram  Football  and Sarita  Devi, former  World champion  boxer, spoke on the  traditional sports of North-East.