Polo is associated with Manipur history and culture: Governor
Imphal: Governor of Manipur Sushri Anusuiya Uikey on Saturday said polo is associated with the history and culture of Manipur and this has to be nurtured and developed in the world.
The governor was speaking at the closing function of 30th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament & 19th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2023, held at Imphal Pologround (Mapal Kangjeibung).
Governor said, polo is a highly disciplined sport and there is ample scope to showcase talent and learn the spirit of discipline. Player’s passion for success and pursuit of excellence has become an integral part of the game. Governor continued that since ponies are equal partner of player in this particular game, their upkeep and proper maintenance need to be reiterated. State government has already established a Pony Sanctuary at Heingang near the temple of Lord Marjing in Imphal East district. It is indeed a good step to preserve this rare species.
She appealed the pony owners to keep their ponies in the sanctuary and not allow them to roam on the road.
Manipur, though a relatively small state is indeed popularly known as the power house of sports of the country. But, Manipuri Polo is yet to gain momentum on the national scene. The present day polo originated from the traditional Manipuri Polo-Sagol Kangjei. Manipur polo International, a tournament approved by the Indian polo Association is the only one of its kind played on pony. The tournament is unique not only because it is played on Manipuri pony but it is also played at the historic oldest pologround in the world-Mapal Kangjeibung or Imphal Pologround, she said.
Lauding the participation of women in Polo, the governor said, the state has produced many women polo players who have excelled in this discipline in the country. She expressed confidence that women polo players will be able to bring laurels for the state in future. She congratulated the Manipur Horse Riding & Polo association for their initiative in organizing the tournament. She also congratulated the winning teams and all other participating teams in the tournament.
The gGovernor also announced that the cash amount given to the winners of the tournament will be increased to Rs 1.5 lakh from next year. She also handed over the trophy and cash award to the winners of the tournament.
Education minister Th. Basantakumar Singh while presiding over the closing function said, the present day Polo was originated from Manipur. Originally called Sagol Kangjei, it is one of the indigenous games of Manipur associated with Manipuri Pony. Steps have been taken up to conserve pony, he added.
In the final match of the 30th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, X- Polo Club beat Manipur Police Polo Team by 5 goals. X-Polo Club scored 9 goals while Manipur Police Polo Team scored only 4 goals. In the final match of the 19th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, Imphal Riding Club beat Chingkhei Hunba Polo Club by 8 goals.
Prof. Ch. Priyoranjan Singh, Hony. President, Manipuri Pony Society, officials, players attended the closing function.