|'Lack of infrastructure, not sports talent in Northeast'|
Aizawl, March 21 (IANS): There is no dearth of sports talent in the Northeastern India but it is woefully short of infrastructure, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said after inaugurating the North East Games 2012 here on Wednesday.
"The Central government should evolve a separate sports policy for the youth of the Northeast. The region is endowed with huge sports talent," he said "Today, we are proud of the achievements made by northeast sportsmen and women who have already won laurels in many sports events in the national and international meets. The region already has a fair presence in the national football arena. There is great potential in other sports and martial arts like Taekwondo, Judo and Karate," Lal Thanhawla said.
All the eight northeastern states will participating in the games with a total participants of 1,006 athletes, including women and 180 officials. The main venue of the games is Rajiv Gandhi Stadium at Mualpui near Aizawl.
The North East Games are being organised for the past three decades.
The Mizoram Chief Minister said that indoor games like gymnastics, table tennis, weightlifting, power lifting, billiards and snookers needed to be promoted further in the region. According to the Chief Minister a world class golf course would soon be ready at the outskirts of the capital city Aizawl.
Emphasising on sports training and coaching, the Chief Minister said corporate houses in collaboration with the government needed to develop sports infrastructure to train young people for national and international standards sports.
"The corporate houses, either as part of their social responsibility or in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode and the government, all need to work together to bring the country to a new level in sports," Lal Thanhawla said.
Assam's Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Ajit Singh and several other dignitaries also spoke on the occasion.