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XVIII Hill Districts Badminton Championship begins at Ukhrul

XVIII Hill Districts Badminton Championship begins at Ukhrul

The tournament was organised with an aim to foster a better relationship between the hill districts of  Manipur and to nurture and tap the young talents

TFM Ukhrul Correspondent

Organised by Hill Districts Badminton Association Manipur (HDBAM) and hosted by Ukhrul District Badminton Association (UDBA) under the banner of Ukhrul District Sports Association (UDSA), the XVIII edition of Hill Districts Badminton Championship 2021 kicked off at Mini Indoor Stadium, Bakshi Ground, Hungpung, Ukhrul on Saturday. 

Minister of Forest, Sericulture, Environment and Climate Change, Awangbou Newmai attended the opening ceremony as chief guest. HAC chairman Leishiyo Keishing, MLA of 44-Ukhrul Assembly Constituency, Alfred K Arthur, TNL president Hopingson A Shimray attended the function as functional president, guest of honour and special invitee respectively. Manipur DGP LM Khaute who is also the president of HDBAM was the chief host of the opening ceremony. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Awangbou Newmai stated, “I am willing to extend any help in my own capacity to promote sports in the hill areas.” He added that many young talented players have been discouraged and forced to give up their dreams due to lack of facilities. We cannot blame others, but it is our duty to contribute and help in building the dreams of our youngsters. He also acknowledged the contribution made by HDBAM and stated “HDBAM been conducting this badminton tournament from one district to another for the last many years.”

Leishiyo Keishing stated that “sports is one of the greatest platforms to unite one another and to keep ourselves fit and strong. Winning is not everything but giving your best with discipline is the most important thing. Sports such as football, boxing, wrestling can be very aggressive but badminton is not like that. In this game personal discipline as well as social discipline and team discipline is maintained in this profession. So promoting such game is very much required in today’s time.” He wished all the participants a happy stay in Ukhrul.

Alfred Kanngam Arthur stated that “this tournament aims to promote friendship and understanding between the hill districts of Manipur. If the existing 20 tribal MLAs from the hill districts give a little push to sports arena, we can expect a ray of hope for the young talents. We are in a fragile state, let us come together and build a better relationship for a better tomorrow. 

Why we are lacking today is because there is a lack of infrastructure. We are not less than others. We have the same quality as others, we can excel. As a sportsperson, it is your passion, you are looking up to your dreams. And you are playing your dreams. How many get to achieve that? Do justice to yourself first. Ensure that you have the skills. Not because of hobby but because you make sure that the sport is respected across the length and breadth of the world.” He wished the organiser and participants a successful and meaningful tournament. 

LM Khaute in his speech stated that “hill districts  have produced 3 international players. Two in the under 13 category and one in the junior category. And we hope that they will bring laurels for the country and state in the days to come”. 

Ukhrul DC Joseph Pauline Kamsom in his welcome address urged the participants to explore the scenic beauty of the area and enjoy the hospitality of the people from Ukhrul district. 

UDBA president Jain Huileng informed that a total of 380 badminton lovers from seven hill districts in various categories are participating in the championship that will wind up on April 15, 2021. 

The chief guest gave Rs 1 lakh and the functional president Rs 30, 000 to the organising committee. The guest of honour gave Rs 1, 50, 000 to the host and 10, 000 each to the seven participating districts and UDSA also gave Rs 1 lakh to UDBA. 

Certificates of honour (posthumous) were given to late SP Mashungam from Ukhrul, late Sword Longvah from Ukhrul, late Ningthoujam Ibopishak Singh from Churachandpur, late P Neju Devi from Churachandpur and late Th Onesimus Ngouni from Senapati by HDBAM for their contribution. One minute of silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls  in recent times. 

The opening ceremony was also attended by DIG (Range-I & III), Fire Service director Themthing Ngashangva, Ukhrul SP Ajit Kumar, commanding officer of 27 Assam Rifles, Col Rippon Bora, Ukhrul assistant commissioner Kachamthai F Gangmei, Ukhrul SDO Christianhome Huileng and Chingai SDO Nimmi A Shimray. 

Special numbers by famed Tangkhul artist Chonchon Varah, Bumrei Baptist Youth and free style dance by Generation Squad enthralled the gathering with their superb performances.

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