Polo championship marks revival of sports in Manipur

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Imphal, Mar 5 (ANI): Manipur played host to a state level equestrian championship.

The sixth Director General Assam Rifles Cup, state Equestrian Championship commenced on Tuesday at the Historical Manipur Polo Ground. The championship will continue till Friday.

Manipur Equestrian Association organised the Championship under the sponsorship of Inspector General Assam Rifles (South).

Eight private polo clubs of the state including one from the Manipur Police Sports Club participated in the championship.

Polo enthusiasts in Manipur are trying to keep the sport alive despite government negligence in promoting the indigenous equestrian game.

The players are however unhappy to bear the high expenses of maintaining the horses. In absence of any government patronage it burns a hole in their pocket.

"In this situation of Manipur, Assam rifles is sponsoring Director General Cup and if several other armies organise such events regularly, it will be good for us. There is no one to organise such sports. We (horse riders) are very much discouraged. So I want them to organise it very often for which I will thank them," said Premjit Singh, a player of Thangmei Band Youth Polo Club.

Although the stadium was not crowded to full, there were polo lovers to watch the championship.

The Manipur Polo Association is glad to receive the sponsorship from the Assam Rifles for nurturing the sport.

"We have been excellent in horse riding horsemanship. We have our own brigade of Manipur ponies. We wanted to nurture and develop these equestrian events. As we don't have financial support, we took help of Assam rifles," said S. Joykumar Singh, President, Manipur Equestrian Association.

This modern game of polo, though popularized by the British, is said to have originated from Manipur.

The sport has been known as Sagol Kangjei since time immemorial.

The game is wrapped in mythology and continues to occupy a significant place in the cultural life of the Manipuris. By L C K Singh (ANI)

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