Facts of 26th North East Games Aizawl Mizoram at a Glance
DS Ningthoujam *
Sports Hostels, Indoor Stadium inuagurated at Khuman Lampak Complex on July 20 2011
These are the facts that demand a self introspection about the present scenario of Manipur sports and not taken as hearsay by the Sports Authorities in Manipur including MOA, Federations, Associations, SAI and YAS etc. This paper is not written in favor of or against any person, be it a local or non-local individual or institutions either state or central. It is solely written in public interest and am sorry if it hurts the sentiments of other people after the cat is seen out of the closet.
It is to me, a great shame. None of the related sports controlling body, organizations, associations and state government speaks against this poor show of Manipur state team at the recent XXVI N.E Games, Aizawl, Mizoram, Feb, 2012. Sports means a very responsible entertainment of physically charged, mentally tough and psychologically sound competition that every athlete wants to show his or her upper hand performance level against the every possible opponents.
But in case of Manipur, at present, it seems it is nobody's business causing serious damage in the ever brilliant face of the state at the regional, national and international level. And this is the scenario of present day games and sports competition in the state.
On the other hand, neighboring states are working for sports development and to dethrone the regional powerhouse that Manipur has earn in the hard fought 5th national games, Imphal, 1999. Sports and games competitions, be it a local or state level, region or national level, international or Olympic games etc all are politically as well psychologically charged warfare fought within a frame conduct rules so, the best are selected for winning something in return to keep the face of the people back high.
The motto and very spirit of the game and sports competition is participation and all those who participate in such competitions are treated as winner without olive branches, medals, certificates of merit. It doesn't mean that all are winners. The spirit behind any and every games and sports competitions is to decide a winner at the very first instance. In this case, the recent north east game proved to be a great lost for Manipur state on all front.
In all the 11 (eleven) events put up for competitions, athletic events have the most medals and in this section, Manipur finds no place in top slots. In badminton competitions too, the state cannot find a place in the top two places in both men's and women section.
In boxing also, the Men's section fails to show the potentials and cannot cut through the classes of regional top three but luckily in the women's section, Manipuri women stood second position.
The men's football is totally hopeless and luckily women's team bag first position. In hockey too, where there are academies and different sports houses in comparison to Mizoram and other states, Manipur team cannot do anything in men's section. Mention may be made here that this is the only state in the region that produced hockey Olympians and world cuppers till date. In the women's section, the state women team bags second position in hockey and this can be treated as a consolation for the state.
On the other hand, Judo is another activity having many medals and Manipur has been dominating this event in the state, regional and always fared well at national championships too, but it fared very badly in this event also at the recent N.E games. Our Men's Judo team came second to Mizoram and women's team luckily stood first in the medal tally. In this event too, Manipur is producing international achievers and Olympian but all have been ended in a rather sad note in this event too.
Taekwondo is another event that the state has been dominating since its inclusion in the N.E games and this time Men's team stood second to host Mizoram and we are fortunate that our women's team wins first position in the medal tally of this most favored martial arts. In the event of table tennis, the state team finds nowhere in the winners and runners spot. In the wrestling event, Mizoram won first position in both men's and women's section. Weight lifting remained as usual but not encouraging.
Volley, ball let us forget it because in our state, there is hardly any visible movement for this game so, it better to think for further improvement specially for this game.
Out of the total 11 (eleven) disciplines included in the Recent 26th N.E games, Aizawl, Mizoram, 2012, Manipur were out of positional contention in three disciplines namely (1) Athletics (2) Badminton (3) Table tennis. But, we have seen that there is enough practice facilities in the state for these events. Let us remember that there is very good chances of producing regional level champions in these disciplines too. A movement must not be finished at one go but it must be a continuous one making future steps by grooming young athletes level after level. N.E games is the first spring board of national success for every state in the north east region because this is the only place in the nation where national achievers can be groomed for future sports movement of the nation in selected disciplines.
All the states in the region are all having their own bottle necks in development but games and sports is such an avenue where we can excel by practicing regularly at home and periodical exposures in the national level. Many reasons may be there in the minds of the state and central sports authority regarding the rather shameful performance of Manipur state teams at the recent N,E games.
But one thing is sure that we have been over glorifying our past achievement much longer forgetting our present and future tasks lying ahead. The civil societies and NGO's dealing in different issues from time to time are also seems afraid of shouting a voice against such shameful performance of Manipur state teams at the recent games.
Since 1986, if this paper is not wrong, there is a big centrally funded and sponsored sports house at Takyelpat, Imphal West, Manipur, bringing a lot of hopes and dreams for production of future champions in the national, internationals and Olympics. But, ever since its existence in the state, no visible new infrastructure has been seen coming up in the premises so far.
Further more, there is no Track and field facility in the enclosures of this sports house but there are many athletics inmates found staying in its hostel. The time span, 1986 to 2012 is a long time period of 26 years in between i.e two decades and six years altogether, and still there is no sign of development on infrastructural front. Only one small indoor facility is seen standing as a face of sports infra-structure in the state for SAI-NERC.
No basketball courts, football fields, Track and field facilities, water sports and other facilities are also found having no sign of new construction in the campus of this centrally sponsored sports house. Further, in the words of many sports lovers and coaches, the facilities at the khuman lampak sports complex is meant for organization of games and sports competitions and we do seen it doing from time to time.
But no one knows, which department is taking the responsibilities for control and management work of these precious avenues, the state sports associations and federations or YAS or SAI. Commoners and simple sports sympathizers like me are thinking that whatever facilities existing in Khuman Lampak main Stadium is the infrastructure assets of SAI Takyelpat. This is the reason that no one even the civil societies in the state are voicing against SAI, Takyelpat ,for not constructing any to be constructed infrastructures till date. There may many obvious handicaps and reasons but it must address or redress with every possible means and it will serve the best interest of sports and its movement not only in the state but also in the nation.
Another serious matter of concern is that, the guarantee for all the sports stadia and pools were reportedly only 10 years and it needed immediate attention for repairing or renovation works . Above all, these stadia and pools are the only facilities we are having at home. Therefore, seeing such sad scenarios, the fate of Manipur state sports movement is seems heading towards a gloomy phase.
We must remember that every movement should its nursery and in the form of human resource development just like school education system youth foundation is always required. Grass root level movement is a must so that we can reinforce the ever emerging gap in due course of time when such situation arises. We better learn to make our movement ever dynamic by organizing talent hunt program from time to time in different places because our state is not a big state that cannot be covered in few days.
Talent hunt can be done in the rural areas and hills of the state and select the best suited future athletes who may fit into different sports and games disciplines when they are needed. For these schemes, the nation is backing us so; it will be not a problem for the concern sports houses in making the movement moving ever dynamically forward.
Another thing is that most of the regular coaches in the state Youth Affairs and Sports as well as Sports Authority of India (SAI) and its extension centers are all on the verge of retirement. It is also reported that both the sports houses are facing coaching problems due to lack of required number of coaches. There is a demand for recruitment of new coaches in these sports houses but the authorities are doing nothing for recruitment of required support-staffs, coaching staffs and other essential staffs for making the movement more stronger than ever.
We need to be proud that ours may be only state in the nation that more than a thousand or so athletes (children, youths and veteran) are seen doing sports in the few private and state own stadia located at different locales of Manipur. It is the physical evidence of a stronger sports movement now we have seen in the state.
The most unfortunate thing that happens in the recent past is the state is found unable to select and train our athletes who could do our state proud in the 26th N.E games Aizawl, Mizoram Feb, 2012.
Another most disturbing thing is that for writing columns for Manipur sports and its immediate pros and cons, with recent 26th N.E games Aizawl, Mizoram feb 2012 as the base of all sources, this writer is badly humiliated from some corner of sports fraternity and their co-hordes instead of owing their mistake which is needed immediate reformation and introspection for promotion of sports movement of the nation to a greater heights.
It is serious note to say that our sports movement are falling in the wrong hands and we must lift it up with great pride without any delay. Therefore the civil societies and other related authorities regardless of public and private, white and blue, manual and daily wage people, we (the hills and valley people) all must come together under one umbrella for the greater cause of a federal sports movement in Manipur without any further delay. This will serve the very purposive ideal of enjoying equal share of responsibilities which will in the near future help in the production of Many Mary Kom in the hills and Kunjarani in the valley. These two pin size women and their breeds are the most outstanding world beater that the whole N.E region has produced till date.
So, in fine, an appeal is made to all the people of Manipur through this column "our SAI-NERC, Takyelpat, needs an untainted, clean, local person who knows the state of Manipur sports better, to be at the helm of administration. The choice is for the general public and civil societies et.al.
(The sources of this piece are the physical performance data as well as existing conditions of sports houses in the state and 26th N.E games. No one is directly or indirectly targeted here. It is solely an attempt to showcase the present state of sports movement in Manipur. If any unwanted material is found in this narration, pliz treat it a human error)
* DS Ningthoujam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer is a Freelance sports writer & commentator. This article was posted on July 04 2012
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