Imphal: Governor Sushri Anusuiya Uikey has said that polo is associated with the history and culture of Manipur and this has to be nurtured and developed in the world. She was speaking at the closing function of 30th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament & 19th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2023, held on Saturday at Imphal Pologround (Mapal Kangjeibung).
The Governor said that polo is a highly disciplined sport and there is ample scope to showcase talent and learn the spirit of discipline. She said that a player’s passion for success and pursuit of excellence has become an integral part of the game.
The Governor continued that since ponies are equal partner of a player in this particular game, their upkeep and proper maintenance need to be reiterated. The State government has already established a Pony Sanctuary at Heingang near the temple of Lord Marjing in Imphal East district. It is indeed a good step to preserve this rare species, she added. The Governor appealed to the pony owners to keep their ponies in the sanctuary and not allow them to roam on the road.
Anusuiya Uikey further said that Manipur, though a relatively small State is indeed popularly known as the power house of sports of the country. But, Manipuri Polo is yet to gain momentum on the national scene. The present day polo originated from the traditional Manipuri Polo-Sagol Kangjei. Manipur Polo International, a tournament approved by the Indian polo Association is the only one of its kind played on pony, she said.
She said that the tournament is unique not only because it is played on Manipuri pony but it is also played at the historic oldest polo ground in the world – Mapal Kangjeibung or Imphal Pologround.
Lauding the participation of women in Polo, the Governor said that the State has produced many women polo players who have excelled in this discipline in the country. She expressed confidence that women polo players will be able to bring laurels for the State in future. She congratulated the Manipur Horse Riding & Polo association for their initiative in organising the tournament. She also congratulated the winning teams and all other participating teams in the tournament.
The Governor also announced that the cash amount given to the winners of the tournament will be increased to Rs. 1.5 lakh from next year. She also handed over the trophy and cash award to the winners of the tournament.
Education Minister Th. Basanta Kumar Singh while presiding over the closing function said that the present day Polo was originated from Manipur. He said that originally called Sagol Kangjei, it is one of the indigenous games of Manipur associated with Manipuri Pony. Steps have been taken up to conserve the pony, he added.
In the final match of the 30th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament played today, X- Polo Club beat Manipur Police Polo Team by 5 goals. X-Polo Club scored 9 goals while Manipur Police Polo Team scored only 4 goals. In the final match of the 19th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, Imphal Riding Club (IRC) beat Chingkhei Hunba Polo Club (CHPC) by 8 goals. IRC scored 10 goals while CHPC scored only 2 goals.
Prof.Ch. Priyoranjan Singh, Hony. President of Manipuri Pony Society, officials and players also attended the closing function.