Itanagar: My dream is to see at least four to five youths from Arunachal Pradesh representing our nation in the next Olympic Games, said Union minister of state (independent) for sports and youth affairs Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday.
Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said this when a delegation from East Kameng district, led by sports and youth affairs minister Mama Natung, called on the Union minister at his official residence in New Delhi.
During the meeting, a wide range of issues, particularly pertaining to the development of games and sports by focusing on providing state-of-the-art infrastructure and training facilities to budding sportspersons of Arunachal were discussed.
Sharing his ministry’s plan to sponsor world-class soccer coaches for training promising footballers of the state, Rijiju also assured the visiting delegation that requisite funds would be provided for an artificial football turf and stadium in East Kameng district on a priority basis.
“The same will also be done in a phased manner for the rest of the State,” he said.
Rijiju, however, expressed unhappiness that no players from the state had ever represented the country in the Asian Games due to the “apathy of the governments of the past”.
Further noting that East Kameng has huge potential for sports, Rijiju assured the delegation to establish a sports academy under the Sports Authority of India at Bana in East Kameng.
Taking the opportunity, the MoS also informed the delegation about the proposal mooted by him for development of a large-scale mithun (gayal) breeding farm in the district.
Lauding the initiatives of EKSWCO, Rijiju suggested the organisation to initiate mass outreach programmes so as to create a positive and conducive atmosphere for development of tourism in the region.
Besides, minister Natung, Chayang Tajo legislature Hayang Mangfi, East Kameng Social Welfare and Cultural Organization (EKSWCO) chairman Dahey Sangno and host of other public leaders from the East Kameng district were present during the meeting.