Pothashang News Service: Imphal, February 9, 2020: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh opened the 41st National Master Athletics Championship, 2020 at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, here on Sunday.
Around 4000 athletes from 27 states and union territories will vie for total 250 medals in the championship which will continue till February 14. The championship is being organised by Manipur Master Athletics Association under the aegis of Master Athletics Federation of India.
The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called Manipur as the Jewel of India. Due to the consistent contribution of the state to the sports movement of the country, Manipur is known as the Sports Power House of the country, Biren said.
He pointed out that it is a great privilege for Manipur to host such a prestigious event. He then expressed hope that such competitions would definitely bring unity and understanding among people belonging to different states of the country. Maintaining that it is well regarded in the western countries that life actually begins at 60, the chief minister said that such championships would encourage the idea of keeping fit and healthy throughout our life. The competition would not only encourage the idea of keeping our health fit and fine but also strengthen the idea of One India, he added.
Consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Karam Shyam said games and sports never depend on age. It can start or continue at any stage of life and it is the best medicine for keeping helthy. The participants of the competition are great inspiration to the youth and it would encourage national integration as well, he added.
World Master Athletics president Stan Perkins, World Master Athletics Woman representative Wilma Parkein, Master Athletics Federation of India secretary general David Premnath and Master Athletics Federation of India president Dharamvir Dhillon were also present at the opening ceremony.