Meghalaya: YES, we are proud of them; BUT are we ready to help them?


From Our Correspondent, TNT News | Tura/Shillong, July 01, 2018: 

Time and again, the dream of upcoming sports persons to shine in their respective fields and earn a name not only for themselves but for the state as a whole, is often dashed to the ground. Thanks to the lack of support, both financially and physically!

Similarly, the dream of two aspiring sportspersons from the state, chosen to represent the country in an international sporting event, literally hangs by a thread due to a lack of financial support.

The two athletes, Ibadarishisha Mukhim (Junior Girls – Below 48 Kgs)  and Nathaniel Pynbianglang  Kurkalang (Junior Boys – Below 60 Kgs) are a part of the team that is to represent the country in Venice, Italy in a tournament WAKO Cadets & Juniors World Kickboxing Championship, 2018 to be held from Sep 15-23. They form a part of a team of 26 from the country, including officials and referees.

"They have been informed of their selection on June 7 and were very excited. However when it came to the state of financing for their travel, the excitement has died and they are now in a state where they feel the chance will go begging. Together they require about Rs 4 lakhs and affording something that huge is beyond them," said working president of MSKA, Lorenzo P Warjri.

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Meghalaya State Kickboxing Association (MSKA) was opened in the year 2017 to promote the various forms of kickboxing amongst enthusiasts within the state. The spate of sporting talent within the state in kickboxing can be gauged from the fact that within one year of its inception, Meghalaya Kickboxers have brought as many as 16 Gold Medal, 7 Silver Medals and 17 Bronze Medals.

The MSKA, which earlier too won accolades as well as had representatives for martial arts to the country, has been bogged by lack of financial support to the sport. It has through its own channel tried managing but the overwhelming numbers of international level sportspersons being produced by the state and it has made the proposition too huge to manage.

"Meghalaya and the NE states has always shown an interest in martial arts and if only we had the support from the state, things will definitely look up of not only the MSKA but other aspiring sportspersons as well. If without support we have been able to do so much, imagine what we can achieve with a little support," said Warjri.

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Warjri informed of 4 such athletes, including the World No. 5 Hame Shaniah Suiam and Asian Gold Medalist – 2017, Pynnehbor Mylliemgngap, who were to represent the country in Russia but could not make the trip due to a lack of finance.

In the present case, the MSKA has written to the CM, Conrad Sangma, last week, in the hope that the CM would intervene into the matter. They are still awaiting a reply from the office of the CM.

"We are hopeful that things will change and we will be able to send these two athletes to Italy so that they can do us all proud. We appeal to all citizens to come forward and support us in whatever way possible," added the MSKA working president.

The pathetic situation of sportspersons in the state has not gone down too well with sports enthusiasts who sought a sports policy that would assist sportspeople rather than discourage them.

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"To think that we are supposed to host the National Games in some years and still don't encourage them to excel is a pathetically sad situation. This has to be changed if we want the younger generation to take up sports seriously," said one AM Marak of Tura.

Similar thoughts were echoed by many others who sought the immediate intervention of the government to take care of the needs of sportspersons from the state.

"Other states encourage their young to take the field and compete while we discourage those that excel despite the circumstances. This is something the state cannot afford. If Meghalaya wants to be a sporting hub, it needs to encourage its sportspersons," felt SR Sangma, a sports enthusiast.