It all began with four cycling enthusiasts, Rupam Bar Saikia, Mukta Gohain, who used to cycle together, Nitam Singh and Nayan Roy who formed a casual WhatsApp group where they’d plan rides and share pictures. Soon, the four-member group gained popularity and became ‘The Tilinga Sports Club’ which was formed on June 19, 2018.
The term ‘Tilinga’ in Assamese means a bell. The sports club was named after this traditional symbol of spirituality, positivity and harmony, also homonymous with the little bell on a bicycle. The club has members from all walks of life, from school going kids to retired persons. What started off as a four-member group, now has over 500 cyclists from different districts of Assam and representatives from Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
“The motive behind forming our Tilinga Sports Club was to take a break from daily mechanical life. This club not only aims to promote physical fitness but also focuses on mental health. We are also focused on other social, ethical and also technical aspects too,” said Geetartha Pratim Dey, an active member of Tilinga Sports Club.
Apart from their awareness program to save the Bharalu river, Tilinga Sports Club has also been involved with various other social causes. From time to time the sports club has raised awareness on serious issues such as awareness rides on diabetes, ban on firecrackers, flood relief, cleanliness, plantation drive on World Environment Day, financial assistance for professional cycling enthusiasts, women’s cycle rally to promote Women Empowerment among others. They also rode their bikes in support of Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma’s initiative to eradicate the usage of drugs in the state.
“Tilinga Sports Club is a Non-Profit Club; we don’t charge any joining fee or annual fee. The members contribute some amount of money whenever there is a need for funds. Conducting events needs financial assistance. We would like to appeal govt. to support us financially to conduct these events,” Geetartha expressed seeking assistance from the state.
Earlier this year, Tilinga Sports club had launched a programme named ‘Tilinga Star Studio.’ This programme aims to bring forward unrecognized sports personalities with Laurels and gives them a platform to express themselves by sharing their stories, achievements and experiences.
“Our state has dance shows and cooking shows. Then why not have a dedicated sports show in Assamese language with unsung sports personalities who never get recognised for their work,” said Geetartha. Till now they have interviewed the members of Kamrup Cycling Team, the renowned Triathlete Angana Barua and Parijat Guha.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. So please come forward and keep your world clean and green. Save trees now, they will save you in the future,” said Rupam Bar Saikia, Founder General Secretary of Tilinga Sports Club, urging citizens to devote some time to environment conservation.
The club has plans to spread its network not only throughout Assam but the entire country. Tilinga Sports Club is not only known for sports but also for the ethical and social values imbibed by its members which they intend to pass on to the society at large.
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