I got 1st position in 100 m race in 1964 State Games: Gourikumari
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Seram Neken

Imphal, January 11 2014 : Being a successful sports teacher, she claims sport as her life.

Right from the primary school days to the present, she has been continuously associating with games and sports.

'ON THE GOLDEN FOOTPRINTS' reproduces here the sports profile of veteran player S.Gourikumari from Ratneshwori Goswami's Akao Parei Chankhrabasing published in the Huieyen Lanpao (Manipuri)

Born to Samurailatpam Gourachandra Sharma and Nupimacha Devi of Keishampat Kangabam Leikai on 3rd February (Saturday) 1945, Gourikumari Devi first attended school at the erstwhile LP School (presently Modhu Girls school) at Keishampat.

She could remember her classmates among the very few girls who attended school at that time as Apeicha (Sorojini) and Bina.

Cockfighting was the first games she played in schools.

While she was studying at Ibotonsana school from class III, Gourikumari actively played athletics.

Her favourite events were 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter and 4X100 relay races.

In the 1961 Inter School Annual Games, she earned first positions in 200 meter and 400 meter race, and second positions in 100 meter and 400 meter relay run.

During the Manipur State Games 1961, she got first in 100 meter race.

In 1961, she also joined in the National Kho Kho Games in Calcutta and stood third.

Apeicha, Subadani, Bina, Binodini, Binokumari, Mohini were her team mates.

In the National Athletics Meet held in Bhopal in 1962, she participated in 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter races.

During her time, Ibotonsana school was a reputed school in sports.

It could bring out winners in various inter school events.

Having passed matriculation in 1963 under Guwahati University from Ibotonsana School, she entered DM College where she got individual champions in athletics at the College Sports Meet in 1963 .

She was an all rounder player who took up various games of the time - Kho Kho, Hockey, Volleyball, Athletics.

Samurailatpam Gourikumari recalls the names of Leishangthem Ajit, AK Surjit etc.

who were ardent sports lovers and her associates in DM College.

She feels emotional whenever the memory of her sports colleagues strikes her mind.

In Jhalukbari and Nagaon, she participated in 400 metre relay run along with Khuraileima and Sanatombi who are no more today.

In almost all athletics competitions representing Guwahati University, they could be champions.

The teams to Nagaon and Jhalukbari sports festivals were led by Ojah Megha from Soibam leikai who was a renowned body builder.

In the Jhalukbari trip in 1964, she could earn ladies champions gaining first positions in 100 meter, 200 meter, 4X100 meter and 4X200 meter runs, and third positions in 80 meter Hurdles race and High Jump.

According to the veteran player, she along with Sanatombi from Kakching, Bengali lady Bhubhu and Khuraileima from Yumnam Leikai were a perfect combination for relay run.

They won champions in relay run for two consecutive years.

Gourikumari was also a senior cadet of NCC during 1964 and 1965.In sports, she was adjudged the title of best athlete in DM College and also the best runner title of Guwahati University.

According to the septuagenarian, N.Momon Devi was an inspiration to her sports career.

By 1965, she passed the Pre University examination and went to Madhya Pradesh for the C.P Ed.(Certificate in Physical Education) training at the Central Training Institute, Baruah.

Her father and Oja Thangjam Modhu escorted her in the journey to Madhya Pradesh.

Besides sports, the training happened to cover all sorts of activities such as dance, music, military training etc.

She could remember her mates there like Mary Estrella, Balakantam and Nivedita Das.

They enjoyed a monthly stipend of rupees eighty which was quite enough for the dresses and food, as a Chuni Chadar costed only 25 paise and the price of a Salwar Kamij was only four rupees.

From the training, she was well acquainted with the skills of nurturing a child who was interested in games.

In the practical examination of the training, she turned out first, while in theory she was second.

On 10th October 1966, Gourikumari joined the Singjamei Girls school as Assistant Teacher in charge of games and sports.

She was the first woman in the state to become C.P.Ed trained teacher.

Later after marriage, she completed the BA and BT.

Sharing the wonderful experiences in the Singjamei Girls school, Gourikumari recollected a few of her students such as Pramoda (Deputy Director of Sports), Chandrajini (warden of SAI, Takyel), Sakhensana, Hari, Memcha, Bhanisana, Susila, Pushparani, Dhanisana, etc.

As a teacher, she led the sports teams to New Delhi, Haryana, Trivandrum, Bihar etc.

on various occasions.

She guided teams of Kho Kho, Kabaddi, Badminton, Volleyball etc.

at various events like the All India Women's Sports Festival 1975 (New Delhi), 23rd National School Games Winter Meet (Trivandrum) and All India School Games Autumn Meet (Bihar) .

Besides being a Carom player, the veteran woman was also a good player of indigenous game 'Kang'.

She said that seniors who taught her the techniques of Kang were Kulla and Thangjam Madhov.

She was a player of Pakhangba Kangkhut established by late RK Jaichandra.

In 1988, she participated in the 2nd Festival of Indigenous Games and Martial Arts of North eastern states held in Sibasagar.

A mother of two sons and one daughter, Gourikumari is still playing Carom with great enthusiasm.

She has also produced a number of players in Kang and Carom.

Having served in the state government for a long period from 1966 to 2005, the retired Gourikumari is still endearing sports in heart.

Sport has been her life.

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