Mukul announces monthly stipend for successful athletes
From Our Correspondent
TURA: The Jaintia Hills District Sports Association edged past Ri-Bhoi to emerge as the champions in the three-day Meghalaya State Athletic Meet that concluded at the MP Stadium here on Friday.
Jaintia Hills bagged 36 medals with 15 Gold, 12 Silver and 9 bronze medals followed by Ri-Bhoi who also won 15 gold medals but managed only 9 Silver and 8 bronze medals to finish as runners-up.
Meanwhile, addressing the gathering as the chief guest at the closing ceremony on Friday, Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma announced a monthly “ incentive” for all the successful athletes in the meet. The Chief Minister said that stipend of Rs 3000, Rs 2000 and Rs 1500 would be given to the top three athletes respectively in each of the events.
“This being the “Year of the Youth”, numerous activities are being lined up for the youngsters, who should come forward and participate in the calendar of events,” Dr. Sangma said while addressing the gathering.
Stating that only healthy minds and bodies could build a healthy state, Dr. Sangma admitted that the Government had not been able to give enough support to the sportspersons in the district, sub-divisional and block levels in the past. But last year the government had sanctioned a dedicated amount to the Sports and Youth Affairs Department to rejuvenate sports and youth activities in the State, he said.
It may be mentioned that in 2011, the government had released funds for a synthetic football turf in Shillong and this year money has been sanctioned for two more similar synthetic turfs, one each for Tura and Jowai.
Stating that the Sports department needed more focus from the government, Dr. Sangma said that Shillong would soon have a synthetic athletic turf and the same would come up at Jowai and Tura along with other places in due course of time.
Earlier, Jaintia Hills won the champions title in both Under-14 and Under-16 categories. Ri-Bhoi District Sports Association ended runner-up in the Under-14 category while Shillong Sports Association finished second in the Under-16 category.
Ri-Bhoi though were champions in the Senior category as Nongstoin bagged the runners-up spot.
S Emidamiangki Lamare of Jaintia District Sports Association and Augustine K. Marak of Tura District Athletic Association were adjudged best athletes in Under-14 girls and boys category respectively. Ampati Sub Divisional Sports Association were declared as the best disciplined team.
Others present at the closing ceremony included, Chief Executive Member, GHADC, P K Sangma, GHADC chairman Alphonse A Sangma, Co-Chairman, Organising Committee & DC, Tura Pravin Bakshi, Tura District Sports Association President Billykid Sangma among others.
On the occasion, a minute’s silence was observed to pay homage to former Chief Minister Late Dr. F. A Khonglam , while the Meghalaya Athletics Association felicitated Dr. Mukul Sangma with a citation for his endeavour to upgrade sporting activities in the state.