Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday hailed Indian hockey player Lalremsiami, who is also the first woman Olympian from the state, as a “source of inspiration” for the youths and said her achievement will revive the game, which has lost its popularity in the state.
Lalremsiami, who was part of the women’s team in the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics, was accorded state honour in appreciation of her participation and performance at the Olympics on Thursday.
Speaking at the felicitation programme held at Vanapa Hall here, Zoramthanga said that Lalremsiami’s achievement will encourage the youths and arouse their enthusiasm to play hockey.
“Her (Lalremsiami) achievement today will revive the love and passion for hockey, which is already dead in the state. The popularity of hockey will begin now in Mizoram,” the chief minister said as he congratulated her on becoming Olympian from the state.
Zoramthanga said that the government is making massive efforts to develop sports infrastructures in the state.
He said that his government will construct a hockey ground in the state capital.
Calling upon people to abstain from drugs, alcohol and tobacco, the chief minister also announced war against the use of tobacco products like ‘Tuibur’ (nicotine-water extract of tobacco smoke produced and widely consumed in Mizoram), sada and gutkha, among others.
Mizoram now has only one hockey academy under Sports Authority of India (SAI) at Thenzawl in Serchhip district about 20 km from Aizawl.
According to state sports minister Robert Romawia Royte, the construction of a Rs 5.50 crore sports complex, which will also be used as a hockey academy, is in progress at Muallungthu near Aizawl.
Besides, a Rs 100 crore hockey ground will also be constructed in south Mizoram’s Lunglei town and the foundation stone for the project was already laid on August 17, he said.
During the felicitation programme, Zoramthanga handed over the remaining Rs 15 lakh of Rs 25 lakh to Lalremsiami in appreciation of her participation and performance in the Olympics.
Besides, several organisations and individuals also honoured the hockey star on the occasion.
The state government has recently appointed Lalremsiami as hockey chief coach (supernumerary) and also allotted her a house plot at her home town in Kolasib.
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