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Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh opened the National School Games in Fencing for Under-14 and 17 years (boys and girls) at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium in Imphal Tuesday. A total of 730 players representing 19 teams including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, CBSE Welfare Sports Organisation, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Indian Public School Conference (IPSC), Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Vidya Bharathi, International Board School Sports Organisation and Manipur are taking part in the five-day long competition, which will come to an end on November 17.
The ceremony began with the Chief Minister declaring the Games open, which was followed by march-past of participating teams and cultural presentations. The competition is being organised by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Manipur under the aegis of National School Games Federation of India.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that sports is one of the most important avenues for developing the youth and moulding them into responsible citizens and an area where there can be no recognition on the basis of caste, creed or religion.
“Only talent and hard work determine the outcome. Thus, games and sports are an excellent medium through which one can bring common understanding, a sense of oneness and brotherhood, and help build character and discipline,” the Chief Minister said.
He also urged the players to rededicate themselves to work harder to achieve more laurels, not only in the national and international competitions but also in every walk of life, while he also wished them luck in the current tournament.
Stating that Manipur is known as the powerhouse of Indian Sports, he said that the state occupies a prominent place in the field of games and sports in the country.
Biren Singh stated that Manipur had been participating and hosting National School Games events under the aegis of SGFI in different sports disciplines since the beginning. The State, however, could not host the Games continuously in previous years due to various issues including law and order problems, he said. Now with the restoration of peace, the State has once again resumed hosting various national tournaments and championships, and there is an opportunity for the country to explore Manipur, he observed.
YAS Minister of Manipur, Letpao Haokip said that it is a pleasure hosting the fencing event of the National School Games, located in most parts of the country.
He said states like Manipur, which were once known as far-flung, are no farther away from the so-called mainland India with the introduction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ initiative. The present Prime Minister is carrying forward the legacy of a united and strong India built up and left behind by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, said Letpao Haokip.
Secretary (YAS) Bobby Waikhom and Observer of School Games Federation of India, Sanjoy Goutam also attended the opening event.