NE India Karate Do Championships starts

CM announces Olympic Bhawan, multipurpose indoor stadium

ITANAGAR, Dec 17: The 5th North East India Karate Do Championship, aimed at providing the karate players of the region a platform to show their latent talents, got off to a colourful start at the Nyokum Lapang ground here on Sunday.
Barring Tripura, around 500 players from seven Northeastern states, and teams from Arunachal Pradesh Police Sports Control Board, Assam Riffles and Darjeeling Gorkha Karate Association, will be vying with each other for the top honours.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who declared the championship open, lauded the unity and coordination among the state level karate association of the region in projecting the Northeast as a hub of promising and talented karate players.
He said that it was because of pioneers like Likha Tara (who heads the joint organization of all Northeastern karate associations, the NESKFI) that karate has emerged as a sport that the states from the region excel in.
“Our youths – particularly from Arunachal Pradesh – have carved a niche not only in the regional and national levels but also in international tournaments,” he said, and expressed gratitude to the state karate association for giving ample opportunities to players by not missing a single tournament of any level since its inception.
Pema informed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government is giving special focus on developing sports infrastructure in the region. He said that the laying of the foundation stone for a National Sports University during Modi’s recent visit to Manipur was just an example.
Admitting that sports in the state is suffering from lack of infrastructure, Pema assured to construct an Olympic Bhawan and a state-of-art multipurpose stadium in Itanagar. He urged the Sports department to identify a suitable site for it.
“Union Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has promised a multipurpose indoor stadium. Hence, we need to identify a suitable site for it, so that I can take up the matter with the central government,” he added.
The chief minister announced Rs 10 lakh as an incentive to the organizers for holding the championship.
Earlier, North East States Karate Federation of India (NESKFI) head, Likha Tara, highlighted the achievement of karate players of the region and Arunachal Pradesh.
Apart from many players of national and international repute, there are also two World Karate Federation certified coaches from the Northeast -Shihan S Deben Sarma from Arunachal Pradesh, and Kiran Kumar Thangjam from Manipur, besides eight Asian Karate Federation certified referees and judges from the region.
He said that karate in the NE and Arunachal Pradesh has made tremendous progress since the NESKFI was formed in 2014 in Naharlagun.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Sports Authority of Arunachal Chairman, Bamang Tago, officials of the Sports & Youth Affairs department, and others.