Imphal: With an objective to groom hundreds of world class hockey players from Manipur, Hockey India had a detailed discussion with Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh for setting up 5-a-side Astroturf pitches in all the districts of the North-eastern border state.
Confirming this in a tweet, the state Chief Minister N Biren Singh wrote, "Shri. Gyanendro Ningombam, President of Hockey India, called on me at my office yesterday. We had a detailed discussion for setting up 5-a-side astroturf pitches at 16 district headquarters." Manipur has a total of 16 districts including 10 in the hills. Earlier, Hockey India had also informed about the development in a social media post.
Meanwhile, sharing a photograph of Indian national women hockey team in a social media post on Saturday, Biren Singh, a national football player turned politician tweeted, "Congratulations to our Women Hockey team. The country is proud of you.Brilliant performance by Vandana Katariya as she becomes the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick in an Olympics hockey. Salute! "
Manipur Hockey has been organising and conducting various summer camps besides hosting tournaments to create a platform for budding players so that they start playing the game and promote the game. The state which is considered as the powerhouse of sports, has produced many iconic players and has brought home laurels and recognition for the country.
So far the state has produced 19 Olympian including seven hockey players. The state produced its first Olympian P Nilakamol, a hockey goalkeeper in 1984 (Los Angeles Olympic)followed by Ksh Thoiba,another hockey Olympian in 1988(Seoul Olympic).The other hockey Olympians are Kh Kothajit,Chinglensana Kangujam,P Sushila, Th Anuradha (Rio Olympic 2016)and Sh Nilakanta(Tokyo Olympic 2020).