Manipur defeats South Africa at the International Polo Tournament
IMPHAL: The tenth Manipur Polo International 2016 began at the historic Mapal Kangjeibung (Imphal Pologround) with a spectacular cultural programme. Organised as a part of the Manipur Sangai tourism festival four international teams are participating in the tournament.
The first match was played between Manipur ( India B) and South Africa which Manipur won 7-4. Chief Minister O.Ibobi Singh said that the State Government has formulated Manipuri Pony Policy for saving Manipuri Pony from extinction and initiated for establishment of one exclusive sanctuary for the Manipuri Pony.
O. Ibobi Singh said Manipur Government has initiated action to declare Manipuri Pony as one of the endangered breed to be preserved for future generations in Manipur, India and the world. He also said that Manipuri Pony is one of the five species of Ponies recognised by the Government of India.
Manipuri Pony is considered as the most sacred of all animals in Manipur which is connected with our religion, arts and culture, martial arts etc. He expressed his belief that the polo fraternity all over the world will surely appreciate the initiative of the State Government. The Chief Minister further said that Sagol Kangjei which is now known as Polo has been played in Manipur since time immemorial. He said all are indebted to our forefathers who have handed down to us this game which has become a popular game of the present world.
Four foreign Polo teams from Australia, England, Kenya and USA and two Indian teams India-A (representing Indian Polo Association) and India-B(consisting from Manipur) are taking part in this 10th edition of Manipur Polo International 2016 organised by Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association. The Tournament will continue till 29th of this month.
The Inaugural Function was presided over by the Chairman Hill Areas Committee, Dr. Chaltonlien Amo and attended by the Education Minister Dr. Kh. Ratankumar, Chief Minister of Chin State of Myanmar U Salai Lian Luai and his Ministerial colleague as Guests of Honour.
Earlier, Chief Minister took the salute of the march past of the participating teams and a cultural performance was also organised by the Rhythms of Manipur as a part of the inaugural function.
Thailand could not attend the tournament as the nation is mourning death of its King. About 90 polo-trained ponies have been arranged for the tournament.
Featured image(courtesy): POLOCONSULT