Shillong, Feb 15: Sports associations in Meghalaya require around Rs 50 crore annually to fund their activities and develop athletes, buy equipment and maintain infrastructure, Meghalaya State Olympic Association Working President John F Kharshiing informed today.

The MSOA had called together the various sports associations from the state to a meeting at its headquarters here today.

Kharshiing said that the state government needs to consider these financial needs if it really wants to see Meghalayans become medal-winning athletes in the national and international arenas.

As examples, he said that the Meghalaya Football Association requires Rs 2 crore annually, the Archery Association of Meghalaya needs Rs 1 crore for equipment alone and that the Shooting Association of Meghalaya, of which Kharshiing is part, needs Rs 2 crore-plus for equipment.

Meghalaya is scheduled to host the second edition of the North East Olympics this year. It finished a lowly sixth out of eight teams in the first edition, which was held in Manipur in 2018. The state is also meant to host the 39th National Games, which were meant to be held this year but have been postponed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. The state government and MSOA also have grand ambitions of producing a Meghalaya Olympian by 2028.

MSOA General Secretary Finely Pariat said that the associations cannot function without the Sports & Youth Affairs Department, which, in turn, needs adequate support from the state government.

As of now there are 21 associations that are affiliated with the MSOA but there are another 15 disciplines that are yet to find representation in Meghalaya but will need to be included in the National Games.

(Photo contributed)

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