Shillong, Jan 19: The Meghalaya State Olympic Association has sought financial support from the state government to cover expenses to be incurred over the course of this year and to treat it as part of the celebrations of Meghalaya’s 50th anniversary of statehood.

A delegation of four members from the MSOA, led by Working President John F Kharshiing, met Chief Minister Conrad Sangma here yesterday evening. Also present were Director of Sports & Youth Affairs Wanrilin Booth, MSOA General Secretary Finely Pariat, Treasurer Ksan Warjri, Vice-President Sebastian Swett and others.

MSOA plans to host the North East Olympics in October and conduct a marathon in collaboration with the Athletics Federation of India. The state association also requested annual financial grants for equipment and training for the various sports associations in the state in compliance with the Meghalaya Sports Policy, continuation of a talent identification programme begun in 2017 and other activities.

According to a release by Kharshiing, the CM agreed to immediately look into these proposals as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the state.

The meeting also briefly discussed the draft master plan presented by Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs and consultants to the MSOA and requested Sangma to consider infrastructure for four sports – hockey, shooting, equestrian and cycling (specifically a velodrome for the latter) – to be needed for the 39th National Games, which Meghalaya is to host. The state currently lacks facilities for these.

The MSOA also impressed upon the CM of the need for a permanent ‘Meghalaya Olympic Bhavan’. The CM assured the delegation that he would look into the matter and another meeting will be held shortly to finalise these proposals in detail.

Meanwhile, the day before, the MSOA and state associations held a meeting with the Sports & Youth Affairs officials and consultants for the 39th National Games where the MSOA was updated on the progress of infrastructure proposed in Shillong and Tura.

(Photo contributed)

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