IMPHAL, 7th JANUARY, 2018 (DIPR): Deputy Chief Minister Shri Yumnam Joykumar said, to develop the game of Hockey in the state, infrastructures has to be developed with state of the art facilities. He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of 8th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2018 at Khuman Lampak Astro Turf Hockey Stadium in Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal today.

Deputy Chief Minister said, Astro Turf Hockey Stadium at least one each to all the districts has to be developed so that players can avail the facility to train themselves. Besides this, proper coaching facility with qualified Coaches should also be made available. He said, the state has the potential to produce players which can compete up to the international level, such facilities has to be made available to train them. Manipur has produced a number of hockey players which brings laurels for the country in the recent past. Many players have been participating in the national and international events representing Manipur and the country. Organising such a national championship will be a good chance for the players to develop their skills, he added. Shri Joykumar Singh also asked the concerned officials to expedite ways to develop sports infrastructures in the state.

Shri Ashabuddin, MLA while speaking at the inaugural ceremony said, sports have a great significance not only from the point of view of competition and winning medals but to inculcate a higher level of culture where people are identified with energy, vigor and active life style. It also plays acrucial role in developing our mental as well as physical strength which are the hallmark for success in every field, he added. He appealed the officials of Manipur Hockey and concerned authority to organize Hockey development programmes in Jiribam district.

Director, Youth Affairs & Sports Shri N. Praveen Singh, Secretary General, Manipur Olympic Association Shri Sunil Elangbam and Shri Tapan Kumar Das, Treasurer, Hockey India also spoke on the occasion.

Altogether, 32 teams from across the country have been participating in the Championship which is being organised by Manipur Hockey under the aegis of Hockey India. In the opening match today, Sports Authority of Gujarat team defeated Manipur Hockey team by a goal. Gujarat team scored 3 goals while Manipur team scored only 2 goals.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hockey India, Ms. Elina Norman and officials of Manipur Hockey also attended among others in the opening ceremony.

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