IMPHAL, DECEMBER 1, 2017 (DIPR): Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Shri Karam Shyam today graced the opening ceremony of 9th East Zone Softball Championship, 2017 as the Chief Guest at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal.

Teams from Bihar, Nagaland, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Manipur are taking part in the championship (both men and women categories). A Team from Nepal has been invited to take part in the championship and play an exhibition match.

Addressing the gathering, Minister Karam Shyam said sports athletes from the State are sacrificing to bring laurels for the country without getting adequate benefits. He said more emphasis is needed to nurture the sporting talents from the grassroot level and implement a new sports policy which will help all sportspersons to reach their full potential.

Minister Karam Shyam also said sports not only instils discipline but also helps in national integration. He said Manipur being a small State has produced 17 Olympians and over 1,000 international players.

Shri N. Praveen Singh, IAS, Director of Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Sunil Elangbam, Secretary of Manipur Olympic Association, Shri Th. Mohendra Pratap Singh graced the function as Guests of Honour and President respectively. The Championship organised by Manipur Softball Association will conclude on December 3, 2017.

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