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Arunachal Pradesh Athletes Shine on National and International Stages

18 May,2023 05:30 PM, by: Sushmita Dey
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In recent years, Arunachal Pradesh has emerged as one of the note-worthy developing states in India from the North Eastern region. A significant chunk of the spotlight on the state comes from the fact that it has been undergoing a massive facelift in the pursuit of bridging connectivity gaps in its landlocked and border areas. With it, a slew of infrastructural projects has been commissioned to materialize the vision of a developed Arunachal Pradesh.


However, it’s not just infrastructure and connectivity enhancements that are driving discussions around the land of the dawn-lit mountains. The rising sports culture in the state has also generated much buzz all over India, owing to the exceptional performances by various sportspersons and athletes of the region across national and international platforms.


The sports culture in Arunachal Pradesh has been steadily growing, holding immense potential for the state's economy. Football stands as the most beloved sport, captivating the hearts of Arunachal Pradesh's residents. The state has nurtured numerous skilled footballers who have gone on to compete for Indian football clubs in various prestigious competitions.


Additionally, martial arts have gained recognition and popularity in recent times, with athletes from Arunachal Pradesh showcasing their skills across numerous competitions & tournaments. In this regard, the Karate-do, Wushu, and MMA teams from Arunachal Pradesh have consistently performed well and garnered accolades at both national and international levels. Moreover, sports such as badminton, weightlifting, and outdoor activities like mountaineering have also gained traction in the state.


Recognizing the importance of sports infrastructure and facilities, the government of Arunachal Pradesh has initiated several projects in recent years to develop the necessary resources and infrastructure for supporting the ambitions of aspiring as well as existing sportspeople. To this effect, financial aid to the tune of around Rs. 3.83 crores has been offered to meritorious sports personnel, spanning from 2015-16 to 2021-22.


Steadily making a name in the sports arena, Arunachal Pradesh ranked 3rd amongst all North Eastern States and 16th overall in the National Games 2022 and 3rd in the North East Olympic Games. With the continual improvement of sports infrastructure, the state has the potential to become a sporting powerhouse.


The government is dedicated to creating a supportive environment for high-performing athletes by providing them with essential infrastructure, coaching facilities, and other necessary resources. Special coaching programs have been established to enable skilled athletes to reach their full potential, and coaches from national and international associations are being deployed to enhance the training process. Emphasis is also placed on the well-being and nutrition of athletes representing the state at prestigious sporting events, with the provision of supplementary macro and micro nutrient-based diets. Furthermore, funds have been allocated for the construction and development of sports facilities such as the Badminton Academy, a multipurpose indoor sports facility, and 'Mission Football' to tap into the football potential among the youth. Additionally, plans are underway to construct outdoor stadiums in district headquarters to provide athletes with excellent facilities and nurture their talents.


Some notable achievements of Arunachalee Athletes


Following the proactive stance of the state Govt of Arunachal Pradesh to provide better facilities for emerging sports persons and athletes, let’s look at some of the prominent names from around the sporting industry pertaining to Arunachal Pradesh -


-Gyamar Nikum - In January, Mumbai City Football Club (FC) signed him from Rajasthan United under a five-year contract deal amounting to Rs 60 lakhs.


-Tor Perme (MMA fighter) - In June, last year he won a silver medal in the All India MMA Open National Championship.


-Bengia Tani - has made history as the first athlete from Arunachal Pradesh to claim a Gold medal in the fourth edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG)-2021 held in Panchkula, Haryana. Tani's outstanding performance led to victory in the 67kg (Men) category of the weightlifting championship, with an impressive total lift of 264kg (snatch 115kg; clean & jerk 149 kg).


- Rupa Bayor (Taekwondo) - At the 8th Croatia Open International Taekwondo Championships in Zagreb, Rupa Bayor, the Taekwondo champion secured the bronze medal in the female senior 1 Poomsae event. Her achievement marked a historic moment as she became the first female Indian athlete to win a medal at a G2 event of World Taekwondo (WT).


- Geto Sora (Badminton, 9-year-old player) - Geto Sora has etched his name as the youngest badminton player in the state to claim victory in an international badminton championship. The talented 7-year-old badminton prodigy earned this distinction by emerging triumphant in the multinational BTY-Yonex-Singha Championship, held at the Banthongyord Badminton School in Bangkok, Thailand's capital city.


- Kabak Mallam (Kickboxing) - In the Wako Indian Open International Kickboxing Tournament in New Delhi, Kabak Mallam secured the second medal for Arunachal. Competing in the full contact event in the below 67 kg category, Mallam displayed remarkable skill and determination, ultimately winning the silver medal. His impressive performance culminated in a hard-fought final against an opponent from Jordan, as reported by the Kickboxing Association of Arunachal.


-   Biri Takar (Para Badminton) - Biri Takar, hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, created history by becoming the first para-badminton player from the Northeast to achieve a medal at the BWF tournament.


Last, but not the least, the Wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh have recently represented India in the Moscow Star Championship in Russia and have demonstrated exceptional prowess. These talented players are  Onilu Tega & Takam Chumchi winning gold; Marcy Ngaimong & Chera  Loku winning silver; and Tarang Sangbia, Mepung Lamgu, Sangkio Pardung, Marcy Ngaimong, & Nyeman Wangsu winning bronze.


These are only a handful of names highlighted among numerous skilled players in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Collectively, they have made Arunachal gain a lot more attention across both domestic and global platforms through their exceptional sportsmanship. It’s also noteworthy that the Govt of Arunachal Pradesh has taken a keen interest in nurturing the sporting talent blooming in the state

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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