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Meghalaya-France sports collaboration gains momentum

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Shillong, April 25: In a promising development for sports collaboration, discussions between Samuel Bouchard, Chargé de mission / Cooperation officer at the Consulate General of France in Kolkata, and officials from Meghalaya have shown considerable interest from the French side.
Bouchard expressed keen interest in exploring various avenues for joint collaboration with Meghalaya, particularly in talent identification and training across multiple sports disciplines.
The discussions centered on the potential collaboration in sports such as Athletics, Archery, Aquatics, Basketball, Badminton, Boxing, Judo, Football, Gymnastics, Shooting, Weightlifting, and other contact sports. These efforts are aimed at preparing athletes for the upcoming National Games slated to be hosted by Meghalaya in 2026.Furthermore, there were talks about organizing a joint delegation from the Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA) and the Department of Sports to visit France for in-depth discussions on collaboration opportunities at the regional level.
During the meeting, the French official was briefed on the ongoing talent identification and elite development programs being conducted by MSOA and the Department of Sports, with special emphasis on reaching out to rural schools.
The French authorities expressed interest in supporting these programs to ensure widespread impact across the state.
As a result of the positive discussions, both parties agreed to draft a framework outlining the objectives for joint collaboration in sports. This draft will be submitted to the Government of Meghalaya for further deliberations with French authorities.
The meeting, held at the Main Secretariat in Shillong, also aimed to explore broader cooperation between India, France, and Meghalaya across various sectors, including sports training, coaching, talent identification, and sports tourism. Vijay Kumar D, IAS, Commissioner of Sports, Government of Meghalaya, along with other officials including John F Kharshiing, Working President of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association, and Lanu Ignatius, Sports Adviser, were present at the meeting.

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