Sikkim sports minister Kunga Nima Lepcha with medal winners and participants of the 2nd India International Taekwondo Championship 2019 Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: Stressing on the need for removing bureaucratic red tape in the sports sector for the overall development of the state, sports minister Kunga Nima Lepcha advocated for infrastructure development in schools starting from rural areas in Sikkim.

Addressing a public meeting at the conference hall of Paljor Stadium in Gangtok on Monday, Lepcha termed the removal of bureaucratic red tape as an absolute necessity. “We have to remove bureaucratic red tape as talents are very much essential. We will leave no stone unturned to realise the full potential of talents from the rural areas. Those from rural areas can be trained well and given the necessary exposure. They have the stamina and need to see the different sides of the world. We will promote different sports in the state in a democratic manner,” he said.

The minister was participating at a felicitation programme organised for medal winners and participants of the G-1 World Ranking Tournament and 2nd India International Taekwondo Championship held in Hyderabad from June 11-16. During the meeting, the minister felicitated 13 participants, including three medalists from the junior category.

“It’s a proud moment when these kids have put Sikkim on the world sporting map with the success in the G-1 World Ranking Tournament and 2nd India International Taekwondo Championship 2019. They went head to head with Olympians in the sport which is a big thing. Martial arts help in improving our health and teach us self-defence. When we talk about women empowerment, on a personal level, self-defence is necessary. Hence our women must take up such sports, not just for exposure but to get employment opportunity as well,” Lepcha said.

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The minister also asserted on bringing sports events of national and international standards to Sikkim instead of just sending participants outside of the State and country. “Under the new government, our mission is devoted towards health, education and sports. We have to take the state ahead in different field of activities. As sports minister, I will devote time towards different kinds of sports, including some of our traditional sports and games to restore and preserve them while bringing new games to the state as well.”

The minister also laid focus on restoring and preserving of some of the traditional games of the state, such as archery.

“Efforts are being made to preserve traditional sports like archery. There is enough scope for traditional archers. As a professional, I have experience in the sport. But with modern archery, it has been sidelined. So, we need to revive the traditional archery. As a state, we need to promote our traditions and culture with such games,” Lepcha said.

Laying focus on infrastructural development at school level, the minister said that the state government is laying focus on developing the sports infrastructure in Sikkim at the school level. “For overall improvement in sports, infrastructure development should play an important role. We will work on improving playgrounds and providing necessary equipment to the schools as well,” he said.

Bijay Gurung, state coach for taekwondo, also spoke during the programme, among many others.

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