Efforts being made to make Arunachal a sporting powerhouse: Natung

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Sports and Youth Affairs minister Mama Natung on Wednesday said that the state’s sports department is designing a special roadmap for every individual sports to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games and efforts are being made to make Arunachal a sporting ‘powerhouse’ of the country.

“Chief Minister Pema Khandu had in a meeting earlier suggested focusing more on individual sports and games. With the positive direction of the CM, we are aiming at bagging a medal in the 2024 Olympic Games in the individual category,” Natung said.

The minister said this after launching the third edition of the Sub-Junior State Ranking Badminton tournament at the Old MLA Cottage Badminton Stadium here.

The competition is being organized by the Arunachal State Badminton Association (ASBA).

Natung said the state’s sports department will hold a meeting soon to prioritize individual games so that Arunachal athletes can in the years to come can represent the country in the Olympic Games.

He said that the group games will be kept on the sidelines for now.

The minister further said the Central government has under the Khelo India programme sanctioned 52 sports and games centers in the state, which is the highest in the country.

He appealed to the organizing committee to encourage games among the youngsters and continue such competitions on an annual basis, for which he assured all assistance.

ASBA secretary (COC) Penya Bagra said a total of 201 participants from various districts of the state are participating in the Sub-Junior State Ranking Badminton tournament.

There are also various categories of matches in terms of age varying from under 9 years to under 18, he said.

“We also made sure that every individual participant and parent has undergone the Covid-19 test to take part in the tournament. Hence, the entire tournament which will conclude on September 4 is being conducted following proper Covid-19 standard operating procedures,” he said.

Bagra further said the champions of under-13 and above from the tournament will go through various levels of marking scrutiny with the champions of Dorjee Khandu State Badminton Championship.

Accordingly, the final champions will represent the state at the national levels, he added.

Among others, advisor to tourism minister Laisam Simai, Sports and Youth Affairs secretary Dani Sulu and former of Sports Authority of Arunachal chairman Bamang Tago were present on the occasion.

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