While asserting Manipur as the birthplace of Polo, chief minister, N Biren Singh said that the people of Manipur are proud of their forefathers for having gifted this game to the world.
He stated this during the inaugural function of the 6th Women’s International Polo Tournament at Mapal Kangjeibung Imphal West. The tournament which is organized by the Manipur Tourism department in association with the All Manipur Polo Association (AMPA).
The match will be participated by five teams namely South Africa, Luxembourg, India (IPA), India (Manipur-A) and India (Manipur-B).
Biren said that Manipur is famous for Polo because the state is regarded as the birthplace of modern polo. Organizing polo tournaments not only helps in glorifying Manipur at the international level but will also play a crucial role in the preservation of this dying game and endangered Manipuri Pony.
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N. Biren further stated Modern Polo or in the Manipuri language ‘Sagol Kangjei’ (Sagol means pony and Kangjei is a game of sticks) is not just a game. But a symbol that shows the significance of the Manipuri pony and the techniques of warfare possessed by the Manipuri soldiers in defending the sovereignty of Manipur during the ancient period. Manipuri ponies had always been a part of the State’s civilization and culture.
Considering the importance of preserving the endangered horse breed “pony”, Biren said that Sagol Police was introduced by the Manipur Police Department. Besides this, 10 horses will be reared at each Battalion of Manipur Police.
Breeding grounds for pony had been developed at Pangei and Lamphelpat, he added and appealed to the pony breeders to take their horses to the breeding ground instead of letting them roam free on the roadside which created a traffic jam.
N. Biren Singh welcomed all the participating teams including Indian Women's Polo teams and international teams from Luxembourg and South Africa to the State.
During the inaugural function, the Chief Minister hoisted the flag of the All Manipur Polo Association. A band display by the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles band and a showcase of Manipur Indigenous Martial Arts- Thang Ta and Pung Cholom were also the highlights of the inaugural program.
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