“Free Sports Equipment Bank” in Miao

Itanagar: Miao, a sleepy sub-division in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district may soon witness the emergence of its own star athletes in multiple sporting disciplines, thanks to a “Free Sports Equipment Bank” launched by the local administration.

A brainchild of Miao additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Sunny K Singh, the initiative aims to provide an opportunity to “underprivileged children” the “Right to play sports of their own choice”.

Speaking to EastMojo about his efforts to help shape young minds, Singh said, “Any child/youth from Miao can freely borrow the available sports equipment from the bank and return it after finishing their game(s).”

The bank is located at the old library in the ADC’s office.

“We observed that the children of Miao, who mainly come from economically weaker sections, were finding it difficult to pursue and play sports of their choice despite having the urge and keenness to play the same. One, among many other reasons stopping these kids from playing sports, was the cost of the equipment. This was compelling these talents to watch the games from across the fence rather than playing it themselves,” Singh said.

This sports equipment bank is an initiative to support these gifted youths and help them achieve their dreams, he said, while adding that “priority would be given to the underprivileged”.

Singh said the sports bank, which was officially launched this Republic Day, has received good support from the locals, especially sports enthusiasts and philanthropists of the area who have come forward and donated several sporting goods.

“Even the Indian Army helped us with ₹50,000 for the initiative,” Singh, a 2018-batch IAS officer, said.

Singh said besides coming up with the bank, the Miao administration is actively transforming and revamping the sporting infrastructure of the sub-division by starting a day and night futsal ground and parkour park besides adding floodlights to the existing cricket-cum-football ground.

A night futsal league was also conducted recently to promote the game.

“We are also creating a 10 meter rifle/pistol shooting range while a skating rink-cum-adventure cycling unit is under construction and the same would be completed in the next 2 months,” he said.

“The ADC’s initiative is a praiseworthy one as the children of the area were in real need of this push. Besides keeping them fit, it will help them improve their life prospects and tackle general life problems,” a local resident said.

“The Sports Equipment Bank has already started to yield positive results. We can now see the children engaged in sports not only during the day but also at night. We have started to witness the potential of our kids and several already seem to be stars in the making,” he said, while adding that the idea should also be emulated in other parts of the state.

The Sports Equipment Bank at present has provisions for cricket, football, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, skating, chess, carom and the list is expected to grow in the future, an official said.

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