IMPHAL, April 6 � UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi wants state-of-the-art sports infrastructure in Manipur. Conveying this, Union Minister Sports (State) Minister Ajay Maken while addressing medal winning sportspersons at the National Sports Academy complex in Imphal on Tuesday said, �Soniaji directed (me) that Manipur gets adequate support in setting up sports infrastructure�.
The directive was said to be given to the new sports minister prior to his 3-day visit to Manipur to review the existing sports infrastructure in the wake of State�s excellent performance in the National Games. Manipur came second in the medals tally with 118 medals in the recently held National Games in Jharkhand.
Manipur has produced hordes of national and international players including 9 Olympians, two Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees and nine Arjuna awardees.
Stating that the purpose of his visit was to meet and congratulate the medal winning sportspersons, the minister opined, �I also strongly feel that the future of the country�s sports lies in Manipur.
�So more attention will be given to the State�, he assured. He also announced that local coaches will be given training in their respective disciplines abroad instead of engaging foreign coaches.
The State Sports Department urged the visiting sports minister in their memorandum to set up regional football and boxing academies. The Manipur Olympic Association urged the Centre to set up a full-fledged medical science centre and provide indoor stadias for boxing, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting and wushu.