Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
Back in the early 1990s, we got a star from Manipur Sports. Ngangom Dingko became the poster boy of Indian sports after clinching a Gold Medal in Asian Games at Bangkok. He was given an extraordinary welcome in the home State, celebrating in every local clubs, schools and orgnisations. The point is, Dingko was an unknown face before the Asian Games. We began to idolise him after his success.
Many followed his boots and we got Mary Kom, Sarita Laishram, Laishram Devendro in the Boxing games who bring more laurels for the Country and Manipur. Then we have N.Kunjarani, Yumnam Renubala, Khumukcham Sanjita, Sorokhibam Bindyrani and not to forget the sensational Saikhom Mirabai.
There are 100s of atheletes from Manipur sports who are contributing to the power house of Indian Sports. We worship heroes, we idolise those who came victorious in sporting events. The medal winners are recognised and give befitting welcome at the Airport and the Leikai of these players.
This month, Manipur sports got another miracle. 15 years old Linthoi Chanambam from Mayang Imphal has created history in Indian sports by becoming the first Indian ever to win Gold Medal across any age group in Judo.
The present Biren 2.0 government is giving special attention to sports in the State. The Manipur Olympic Games was resumed after a gap of 34 years. Hosting of Durand Cup in the State also signifies how much our leaders are focussing in Sports. Olympic medalist are also provided a suitable jobs in the State government, under which Saikhom Mirabai and Likmabam Sushila Chanu were given suitable jobs to serve the people.
Besides, CM N Biren helped the players who were out of the ring and fighting for their survivals. Wushu player, Angom Bina from Ningthoukhong in Bishnupur District catch the attention of People’s CM when she was selling fish to support her three children. The player was provided every govt sponsored Health Card and Widow card as well. The Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Govindas Konthoujam is arranging for a suitable job for Angom Bina.
We will find thousands of such players who are now fighting outside the rings to survive. The government will find it difficult to look after them. However, the recently launched Chief Ministers Akhannaba Sanaroisingi Tengbang (CMAST) will help them. The Rs 7.36 crore scheme aims to provide suitable jobs who bring medals in International events.Cash awards to medal winners and assistance for purchasing sports items.
Government must include the schemes to groom players, identify the medal hopeful athletes in selected games and support them. The Olympic Gold Quest is doing the same. International players like Mary Kom and P V Sandhu are the products of OGQ.
Manipur Sports need a similar OGQ model which hunt talents from the grassroots level and groom for International level. While doing so, the government must look into the affairs of sports affiliated bodies. Several players are lost in the crowd before playing a single match. The in fighting among the Clubs and Affiliated bodies must be checked and intervene in the interest of the players.
Sports is for the fit body and mind. But it should not be the survival of the fittest who have upper hands in the selection team, not for those having nexus with the powerful people in the government. Let us hunt for raw talents and groom them for medals!