Chief Minister Pema Khandu on June 7 said that there is no dearth of sporting talent in the state, the youths just need the right training and the right platform to perform at the highest levels.
He said this while attending the closing ceremony of the 6th Hangpan Dada Memorial Trophy Under-16, Football and Volleyball (Men and Women) here at the Sangey Lhaden Sports ground.
Khandu said that the state government is giving big impetus to games and sports by developing state-of-the-art sports infrastructure and putting in place a comprehensive Sports Policy to encourage youths to take up sports and also reward them for their achievements.
He also cited the examples of Omang Dodum, a rising football star, who is in India's final squad for the prestigious AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023, and Gyamar Nikum, another gifted footballer, who has been signed in by Mumbai City Football Club under a five-year contract deal to play in the Indian Super League.
Khandu also congratulated the state karate team for emerging as the overall champion by bagging a total of 32 medals (16 gold, 5 silver, and 11 bronze) in the recent National Karate Championship held at Talkotra Stadium in New Delhi as well as the state Wushu team for winning ten medals in the Moscow Wushu Star Championship held in May this year.
To tap natural football talent as early as possible, he informed, the state Cabinet on May 31 approved the Under-14 Indrajit Namchoom Annual Football League as a calendar event of the state government.
He further informed that the government is launching the ‘Football for School’ programme, a first-of-its-kind initiative to promote football in 200 schools of the state to groom budding talents in the age group of 6 to 13.
The Arunachal Chief Minister further announced that the existing prize money for Olympians from the state will be enhanced from Rs 3 core to 5 crore for Gold, from Rs 2 crore to 3 crore for Silver, and from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore for Bronze.
“Even the prize money for participating in the Olympic Games will be enhanced from Rs 40 lakhs to Rs 60 lakhs. This incentive is to encourage our budding talents to give their best,” he added.
In addition to cash incentives the government has kept a job reservation of 10% in the Police and 5% in all other departments of the State Government for meritorious sportspersons, he said.
Appreciating the role of the Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy here at Chimpu in imparting training to young sportspersons, Khandu said that one similar sports academy will be soon established in Changlang to hone the sporting talents of the eastern Arunachal.
Paying rich tributes to the late Hangpan Dada in whose memory the erstwhile Chief Minister’s Trophy for Football and Volleyball was renamed in 2016, Khandu said that by sacrificing his life for the country fighting terrorists in Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir, in May 2016, late Dada has made the state proud.
He urged the youngsters to inculcate the virtue of sacrificing comfort to achieve something great in life.
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