The Union sports ministry has approved Khelo India Centres to be set up in 16 districts across Manipur.
“As part of the government’s vision to open 1000 new Khelo India Centres (KIC) in all states and UTs, with at least one KIC in each district of the country the Sports Ministry has announced the approval of 16 centres in Manipur are part of 143 new centres approved in 7 states last week,” the sports department of Manipur said.
The centres that will be spread across Manipur’s 16 districts – Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal, Kakching, Chandel, Tengnoupal, Bishnupur, Churchandpur, Pherzwal, Kangpokpi, Senapati, Ukhrul, Kamjong, Jiribam, Tamenglong and Noney – will have one sports discipline in each centre, the Manipur sports department said.
“Earlier this year, the sports ministry had opened Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal with the aim to identify and provide world class training to athletes in the state in their specialised sports,” said T. Phulen Meitei, the director of youth affairs and sports, Manipur, speaking on the approval from the Union sports ministry.
“With these 16 Khelo India State Centres opening in the 16 districts spread across Manipur, I believe we will be able to identify and groom more sporting talents from Manipur who can bring laurels for the state and the nation,” Meitei added.
The Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal was chosen as the Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE) and was virtually inaugurated by Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju in 2020.
Three disciplines of archery, hockey and weightlifting were selected to be part of the KISCE initially under which one state could have one discipline and weightlifting was declared as the state discipline of Manipur.
With the 143 new centers approved in 7 states, India will now have a total number of 360 KICs across the country.
These KICs have been launched by the Sports Ministry in partnership with the state governments to provide grassroot-level sports infrastructure to young sporting talent in different parts of the country.
The KICs will also act as an employment generator for sportspersons from the state who are not active in the field as the government will also be hiring past ‘Champion Athletes’ as coaches and mentors for the young trainees.
Each of these centres will be given a one-time initial grant of Rs 5 lakh for the preparation and upgradation of infrastructure, sports fields, purchase of equipment, sports kits, etc.