‘Centre-State coordination needed to promote sports’
Imphal (DIPR): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur stressed on the need for the Centre and States to come together for the promotion of games and sports in the country, by sharing ideas and strategies on developing the sector.
Anurag Singh Thakur was addressing the gathering at the inaugural session of the Chintan Shivir of Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) States/UTs organised at City Convention Centre, Imphal. The Chintan Shivir will be held for 2 days i.e, on April 24 and April 25.
In his speech, the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister expressed gratitude to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for the warm welcome and beautiful arrangement made for the Chintan Shivir.
Conveying that this year’s conference is the third Chintan Shivir of YAS Ministers, he said that youths are the largest stakeholder of the Country and have a very important role in nation building. He further stressed on the necessity of organising such conferences in every state to develop the sports sector from the grassroot level.
Anurag Singh Thakur expressed that Manipur had contributed a lot in the field of sports, despite its small population compared to other larger states. Acknowledging the contribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sanctioned for developing the first National Sports University in the State and an approximate amount of Rs. 900 crore will be spent for developing the University, he added.
He also spoke on the popularity of indigenous games of Manipur, adding that the Central Government had also adopted many indigenous games in the Khelo India Programme. He further mentioned the importance of promoting and pushing our traditional games on the international level.
The Union Minister spoke on the achievements of sportspersons of the State, mentioning the names of sports personalities who had brought laurels for the country in national and international sporting events. He also mentioned the contribution of different states in different disciplines of sports, adding that women players had brought much achievement for the country.
Concluding his speech, Anurag Thakur suggested the participating Sports Ministers of different States and Union Territories to share their experience and showcase what initiatives they had taken up to develop sports infrastructure in their respective states. He also asked them to learn from the experiences of one another, emphasising on the need to work together to make India a sports superpower.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh extended a warm welcome to all the participants of the National Conference of Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports of States and Union Territories, adding that the State was honoured to host such an event. He observed that holding such a conference in Imphal also recognises and highlights the significant contributions made by Manipuri sportspersons and youth towards nation building.
The Chief Minister continued that the State has a proud and vibrant sporting history and culture, adding that sportspersons from Manipur have brought laurels to India, in various disciplines of sports and produced numerous medalists, including 19 Olympians, despite its small population.
Biren expressed confidence that the deliberations in the National Conference would help shape a framework for State Governments and stakeholders towards charting a trajectory for the country towards growth and development of youth and sports. Under pioneering initiatives like Khelo India, the Government continues to create the ideal environment for sports to thrive in India. As we mark 5 Years of Khelo India, the scheme has proved to be a catalyst in turning India into a sporting nation, giving a platform to grassroot athletes and building sports infrastructure across the country, he added.
The Chief Minister expressed gratitude that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India approved the opening of 32 K