"Manipuris have inborn qualities to excel in various sports" Dr.Laishram Jogamani
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Seram Neken

Imphal, February 10 2014: During the pre-statehood days, Manipuri players had to play in the Assam Team.

Consequently, almost all Assam sports teams were dominated by Manipuris.

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

Eldest son of Laishram Kriti and Rajkumari Sanatombi of Singjamei Chingamathak Imphal, Laishram Jogamani was a popular Badminton and Table Tennis player during the 1950s.In an interview, the veteran player said, "During childhood, I stayed at the official residence of my father who was the second Doctor and first Medical Director of Manipur state.

I studied at Tombisana School at Khwairamband market where my father's quarter was located" .

In an interview, Jogamani who embraced games right from his schooldays said that he used to practice Table Tennis and Badminton at the small premise near GM Hall where the erstwhile Public Library stood.

He was part of the team that took care of the playing court where a number of eminent sports lovers had a regular rendezvous.

Eminent poets - Laishram Samarendra who even participated in Table Tennis Coaching outside the state and Elangbam Nilakanta also practiced Table Tennis at that court.

Erstwhile Manipur Public Library was a favourite place to Jogamani, as it served as a fitting ground for production of numerous sports persons.

Some of his contemporary players were Wahengbam Jatra, RK Laphoisana, Chingakham Priyokumar, Kangabam Biren, Baruni Sharma etc.

After passing matriculation in 1953, he joined DM College.

He was an academically sound student.

The veteran player narrated, "In 1954, I represented the DM College at Inter College Meet at Guwahati.

During the visit, I along with Sougaijam Lalit got the opportunity to fight against Indian number one PP Chawla and number two Amit Raj Diwan.

Although they won the matches, it was a great pleasure for us to get the chance of playing with the known players" .

L.Jogamani became a keen player by 1953-54, with his double partner in Badminton being Sougaijam Lalitkumar.

Some of the players during his time, as he recollected, were Dr..PKumud, Eigya Thagoi, Mutum Ram Singh, Nambram Binoybhusan and Maisnam Lalji.

Most students of his time were academically sound and healthy as they took keen interests in games and sports.

In 1955, Jogamani along with Sougaijam Lalit went to Dibrugarh to take part in All Assam Inter District and Open Badminton tournaments.

Jogamani continuously adhered to sports, even after he was admitted to Assam Medical College in 1955.As a Badminton player, he was adjudged the 'Blue' title at Assam Medical College.

On one occasion, while leaving college for a sports tournament as the team Captain of Guwahati University, he missed the class on human anatomy.

He had to attend special classes on the lessons he had missed in pursuing sports.

"Before Manipur got statehood, Assam sports teams comprised a number of Manipuris" Jogamani stated, adding that as Manipur was then treated as a district of Assam and Manipur had no sports bodies, they had to play under Assam state.

He took a responsible role in the formation of Badminton Association of Manipur on 29th May 1955.The meeting held at the Friends' Talkies Hall under the chairmanship of L.Joychandra resolved to form a working committee with L.Manaobi as President, N.Binoybhusan as Secretary and M.Ram Singh as Treasurer.

Jogamani along with P.Kumud, S.Lalitkumar, L.Joychandra, W.Prabhas, N.Nilamani and H.Bishambhar Nagesaran (Keralaid) were the members.

Constitution Drafting Committee was also formed with N.Ram as chairman, N.Binoybhusan as convener and P.Kumud as member.

Manipur Badminton Association was initially affiliated to Assam Badminton Association and later in 1976 it was affiliated to Badminton Association of India.

The logo of the Association was designed by S.Lalitkumar in 1963.Women Badminton players such as Sougaijam Padmabati, MK Binodini, Sougaijam Sarju and Khaidem Pramodini were popular.

Lamabam Bani and N.Momon also came out as a good pair later.

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