TODAY -

6th Manipur Polo International underway
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, November 24 2012: The 6th Manipur Polo International has kick-started at the historic Mapal Kangjeibung (Pologround) here on Saturday.

Four international teams from England, France, Germany and Thailand are participating at the tournament.

The Polo tournament is being organized by Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA) under the theme: "Manipur Gave the World, the Game of Polo: Let Us Save Manipuri Polo, the Original Polo Pony" .

The international tournament is being organised as part of the ongoing Sangai Festival 2012 at Hapta Kangjeibung in Palace Compound.

The international event was first held in the year 1991 at the Mapal Kangjeibung, the world's oldest Polo ground located in the heart of Imphal.

Six teams including Indian Polo Association (IPA), also known as India-A and India-B from Manipur, apart from the four international teams are participating at the competition.



6th Manipur Polo International underway
6th Manipur Polo International underway


Speaking at the inaugural function of the 6-day Polo tournament, Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said Sagol Kangjei, that is Polo, is one of the cultural heritage of the people of Manipur, which has spread all over the world as a competitive sport.

He said: "In Manipur, Polo or Sagol Kangjei, has been a common man's game during our ancient past and even during the colonial days.

Today, however, the game is now becoming an urban sport" .

The Government of Manipur has allotted 30 acre of land for the integrated development of Polo in the greater Imphal area, Gaikhangam informed while adding that the (MHRPA) is also running a pony breeding farm under Government sponsorship.

"This, I am sure, will be able to supply Polo ponies at the affordable prices.

I congratulate the association and its members, for all their sincere efforts for the preservation and popularization of Polo in Manipur, and for organizing the 6th Manipur Polo International," the Deputy CM added.

He further informed that the state Government had sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for organizing this tournament.

Manipur State Bank of India (SBI) has also donated Rs 10 lakh to MHRPA in organizing the international event.

Veterinary & Animal Husbandry minister Govindas Konthoujam, who was also attending at the function, announced that Rs 7 lakh given to MHRPA for every year by the state Government for running a pony breeding farm will be increased at Rs 10 lakh from this year.

Hurlingam Polo Association, England, Chairman Nicholas also spoke at the opening ceremony of the Polo tournament.

He said, "Manipur is the maker of Polo." "I had been dreaming about visiting Manipur, the origin of Polo, for a long time but today my dream has come true" .

He said the decision to organize this tournament was taken in Kolkata in December last year after he and a group of representatives from MHRPA met and discussed about it.

Nicholas has made a lot of contributions in organizing the international event.

Lok Sabha MPs, Dr T Meinya (Inner) and Thangso Baite (Outer), and Hurlingam Polo Association, England Chairman, Colquhoun- Denvers also took part at the function.


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