GUWAHATI ,July 21 : Ruling and Opposition legislators shrugged off political differences to unite as “Team Assam” and ride through a 6-km stretch on cycles to root for boxer Lovlina Borgohain, the state’s lone representative in the Tokyo Olympics that gets under way on Friday.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma flagged off the cycle rally from Dispur Last Gate to Nehru Stadium in Ulubari on Wednesday morning.
The goodwill rally, themed “Go for Glory Lovlina” was the initiative of Biswajit Phukan, legislator of Sarupathar constituency, where the boxer hails from.
“We are so proud of Lovlina who is the first female athlete from Assam to represent India at the Olympics and the second boxer after Shiva Thapa to participate in the same from the state,” the chief minister said, while appreciating the noble initiative of the Sarupathar MLA.
Sarma, who also felicitated Lovlina’s father Tiken Borgohain on the occasion, later told mediapersons that the Assam government was making an endeavour to bring about a transformation in the state’s sports scenario.
“Slowly but surely, a lot of Lovlinas, Himas and Shiva Thapas will come up and represent the state and country at the highest level. Talent search is of prime importance, something which was raised in the Assembly. We have proposed to set up small coaching centres in every constituency and district to bring about a substantial improvement in the sports arena of Assam,” he said.
Assembly Speaker, Biswajit Daimary, Deputy Speaker Numal Momin; ministers Atul Bora, Parimal Suklabaidya, UG Brahma, Pijush Hazarika, Bimal Borah, Sanjoy Kishan, Leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia and several other MLAs, including Sibsagar legislator Akhil Gogoi, took part in the rally.
On Tuesday, the Assam Assembly had unanimously resolved to support and motivate Lovlina in her quest for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which gets under way on Friday.
A ‘congratulatory’ proposal was placed in the House by parliamentary affairs minister Pijush Hazarika and both Opposition and ruling party legislators welcomed the proposal and resolved to support the boxer.
Born in a remote village in Golaghat district on October 2, 1997, Lovlina has proved her credentials in both national and international events in boxing.
Lovlina will begin her Olympic campaign in the women’s 69kg welterweight category on Saturday.
Setting the tone for a healthy, competitive culture for sports, the Assam government had on Monday decided to provide jobs to National Games medalists, along with Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games medalists in accordance with their eligibility and qualification.
Besides, the government also announced to provide sports pension to all former medal winners of the state in national-level Olympic recognised disciplines.