Shillong, Jul 27: The Meghalaya government felicitated sports achievers at a function here today to recognise their accomplishments.
Athletes from sports climbing, athletics, archery, football, shooting, boxing, taekwondo, badminton, kickboxing, jeet kune do, karate zendokai, MMA, bodybuilding, muay thai and karate were honoured at the event for their performances in regional, zonal, national and international competitions in 2017-18.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, senior civil servants from the Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs and representatives of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Sangma referred to an ongoing talent identification drive conducted by the MSOA and DSYA. Sangma had visited the Shillong talent drive earlier in the day.
“Indian sportspersons have been excelling at international arenas. As we engaged with the youth through the sports programme, we found about seven to eight youths among 300-500 participants who met international standards and were in the ‘Super Elite’ category, despite no professional training, diet, some not even having shoes but proving to be just as efficient. This only shows their immense talent that needs to be recognised, acknowledged, and supported,” he said.
A total of 231 sportspersons from various Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines were felicitated at the event. Along with the felicitation, a Cash Reward Scheme was also launched to recognise the achievements of athletes at regional, national and international championships and support sportspersons financially so that requirements for better preparations are met.
The government hopes the scheme will encourage athletes to work harder for greater achievements in higher-level competitions like the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Olympics.
Once the sportspersons get into Indian teams, more cash awards, other than the state government’s, will also be available to them, including from the North Eastern Council, central government and others.