IMPHAL: The statement of Secretary of Sports, Government of India Radheshyam Julaniya, IAS who announced that the Special Area games under SAI, Khuman Lampak will be withdrawn has sparked an air of strong anxiety and uncertainty among the players who are undergoing training under the SAG programme.
Hundreds of highly aggrieved players and their parents on Sunday stormed the Manipur Press Club to highlight their grievances through the media.
Briefing reporters, Shamchetshabam Subita, a Wushu player said that Secretary of Sports, Government of India Radheshyam Julaniya, IAS, who recently visited the state to attend the second foundation day of National Sports University, stated that Special Area games under SAI, Khuman Lampak will be withdrawn.
Notably, Special Area games scheme is a sports promotion scheme of the Sports Authority of India that is designed to identify and train young sportspersons who are considered to exhibit natural physical aptitude for sporting events in communities in the tribal, rural, hilly and coastal regions of the country. The scheme covers 26 sporting disciplines. Selected trainees are trained at SAG sports centres.
At SAG centre, Khuman Lampak, around 250 players are undergoing residential training in nine disciplines, viz. Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Gymnastics, Wushu, Swimming & Diving, Weightlifting and wrestling. Once the SAG centre is withdrawn, the players will be deprived of the training facilities and training place and their career will be spoilt. The training coaches are teaching the young players properly with dedication, she said.
Highlighting its achievement, she said the SAG centre Khuman Lampak, to its credit, has produced many national and international players including Arjun Awardees. Olympic Medalist Mary Kom, Asian games gold medalist Ngangom Dingko are the products of the said SAG centre.
Stressing the benefits of SAG scheme to the players, she appealed to the Government of India not to withdraw the SAG Centre Khuman Lampak in larger interest of the players in the state, who brought laurels for the country.
She also drew the attention of Chief minister N Biren to intervene in the situation and to pressurize the centre not to withdraw the SAG scheme from the state.
An aggrieved guardian said that withdrawal of the SAG scheme from the state will spoil the career of the young players who are undergoing training here. It will be quite unjustified if the SAG centre is shut down permanently without making an alternative arrangement for the 250 in-training players first. The players will be in helter-skelter when the centre is closed. As such, government should not close the centre, he added.
He revealed that some parents of the players today met the Chief minister N Biren and sought his intervention in the situation by submitting a memorandum. Chief minister also assured to take up the issue positively.