Mizoram Sports Conclave targets producing top athletes for the 2036 Olympics

Updated - June 15, 2024 07:23 pm IST

Published - June 14, 2024 08:26 pm IST - AIZAWL

Mizoram Sports Minister Lalnghinglova Hmar, fourth from left, with other participants at the Mizoram Sports Conclave 2024.

Mizoram Sports Minister Lalnghinglova Hmar, fourth from left, with other participants at the Mizoram Sports Conclave 2024. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The inaugural Mizoram Sports Conclave 2024 underlined the state’s vision to lift the standard of sports within its boundaries and help it produce top class athletes for the 2036 Olympics, which the country aspires to host.

The two-day event, graced by Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma, Sports Minister Lalnghinglova Hmar, Assam Sports Minister Nandita Garlosa, top sportspersons and senior officials of various National federations, discussed different aspects of sports promotion.

“I wanted Mizoram’s medals tally to increase in the National Games. Since India is bidding for the 2036 Olympics, we want to be part of this. We have to prepare our athletes now. A 10-year-old kid will be 22 years of age by 2036. For that you need to start somewhere. So this conclave came,” said Hmar.

During a panel discussion, moderated by Sportstar Editor Ayon Sengupta, Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) president Sahdev Yadav stressed that there should be a check on age fraud and doping.

“Earlier there was 70 per cent age fraud (in weightlifting). This is the reason why only 0.5 per cent of the talented youth become successful at the elite level. We have taken some steps to check this,” said Yadav, who is also the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) treasurer.

“Doping is another big issue. We have started taking action against the coaches. We recently suspended 10 coaches and will suspend 10 more.”

Former National champion and Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) secretary Kamlesh Mehta saw the athletes’ access to sports science and sports psychology as a positive development. “Earlier, if an athlete used to seek a psychologist’s help, people used to say, ‘Have you some psychological issue?’”

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey was happy to note increased participation of Mizoram footballers at the National level. “If boys can play, why not the girls?” said Chaubey.

Chaubey, who is the IOA joint secretary, said states like Assam and Uttarakhand had shown interest in hosting the National Games and the IOA was trying to find a window to facilitate the participation of top athletes to make it more attractive.

Boxing Federation of India (BFI) secretary Hemanta Kalita said the national body had been taking steps to spread boxing. On Parveen Hooda’s whereabouts failure and the resultant loss in Olympic quota place, Kalita said the BFI would be more careful about such issues.

Wrestling Federation of India vice-president Asit Saha said wrestling activities were getting back on track after a year’s disturbance.

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