Sikkim gets sporting edge with new Khel Gaon

Gangtok, May 4 (IANS) Sikkim, with a population of less than 600,000, is all set to be a major hub of sporting activity in the country as Chief Minister Pawan Chamling inaugurated a newly built Khel Gaon at Reshithang, East Sikkim.

Inaugurated Friday evening, the stadium is built on 10.6 acres of land, and funded by the union urban development ministry. A state of art sports complex, it has an international size athletics ground; the tracks are made of material imported from Holland.

Chamling, who was chief guest at the inauguration function, said younger generations and sports persons could take full advantage of the facilities on offer at the stadium, and bring laurels not only to the state but also the country by sterling performance in national and international sporting events.

He also announced that the government would support the ambition of sportspersons wishing to take up careers in football, archery, boxing, athletics or other games. He said coaching for these activities would also be sponsored.

Chamling said Sikkim had demonstrated great potential in the sporting area, and more Bhaichungs (Bhaichung Bhutia, torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena) and Tarundeep Rais (international-level archer from the state) would emerge.

Chamling gave away awards to 103 outstanding sports people from the state, including eight special children who achieved laurels in national- and international-level sporting events.

Sixty athletes and sports persons who won medals and trophies in national- and international-levels events, and 35 people who participated in the North Eastern Games were given cash incentives on the occasion.

He also urged the youth to be focused and determined in their targets and goals, and put all the infrastructure offered by the government to good use in their education.

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