Gangtok: On the occasion of National Sports Day, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay announced an archery academy in the name of Padmashri Tarundeep Rai for his heroics in the Olympics on three occasions.

The announcement was made at a special function organised at Samman Bhawan, Gangtok under the aegis of the sports department. The state government also awarded a cash incentive of Rs 5 lakh to the archer.

Expressing gratitude to the state government, archer Tarundeep Rai stated, “To have the academy in my name is personal happiness but the main objective is the future generations of sportspersons in Sikkim. There is no personal motive behind it being named after me. I have been an archer for 25 years now, it’s in my blood now, even with eyes shut, the body reacts in action in these 25 years. In major tournaments, I have to maintain focus, but not necessarily for 12 months every year. As a professional archer to handle the same needs to have potential.

“The medal which I have won in the past, in the same way, others can also win those medals. It was a plan for some time, as sports infrastructure in Sikkim so far has been played around with, as was lamented even by the Chief Minister that ground was excavated for over a decade. The career of sportspersons was played around with in the past. 10 years of effort and its success can be a gold medal just as won by our Neeraj Chopra.”

Also Read: https: Sikkim’s lone Olympian Tarundeep Rai exits after losing to Israel athlete

“If the Bhaichung Stadium was constructed on time, imagine how many footballers we would have generated. They may have excelled on their own potential, without any recommendations being needed. A stadium that couldn’t be completed in 10 years has now been completed in 2 years, despite the pandemic posing as a challenge. Priority should have been there, it appears priority was not given in the past, now it seems there is a priority to sports. It’s a new birth in sports in Sikkim and I am hopeful that sports in Sikkim will grow from here on,” he added.

Sikkim Chief Minister Golay on the upcoming academy shared, “The name of the Academy would be ‘Tarundeep Rai Archery Academy Sikkim’, and the same would be reflected in the budget of the next financial year. The sports department will immediately start the preliminary work in consultation with Tarundeep Rai himself. The Institute will give birth to many more Olympians in the future.”

The Chief Minister also announced that the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur would come to Sikkim to inaugurate the upcoming Bhaichung Stadium in Namchi, South Sikkim. He asserted on keeping politics away from the stadium, despite ideological differences with the now politician Bhaichung Bhutia, after whom the stadium is being named.

Golay and the sports department also awarded cash incentives to 23 other sportspersons, including boxing coach Sandhya Gurung, following the success of bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain. Gurung was awarded a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh.

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