- Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim
After football, the Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang-Golay showcased his table tennis skills, after he played an exhibition match with Upper Tadong legislator GT Dhungel during first edition of Late Alexius Dhungel Memorial Table Tennis Championship 2021 which commenced today.
CM Tamang inaugurated the first edition of Late Alexius Dhungel Memorial Table Tennis Championship 2021 here at indoor gymnasium hall of Paljor Stadium on Friday.
Organized by the Sikkim Table Tennis Club (STTC), a total of 320 paddlers representing different regions of the state participated in this 3-days championship.
Golay, who attended the event as its Chief Guest, was accompanied by Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Jacob Khaling as the guest of honour and Upper Tadong legislator, GT Dhungel – chairman of the organizing committee, among other dignitaries.
The exhibition match played between CM and Upper Tadong MLA stood to be a highlight for the inaugural function of the championship, in which the CM won the match by 2-1 in the best of three matches.
In his inaugural address, the CM congratulated the organizers and players for having the state-level table tennis championship after a gap of almost seven years. While extending best wishes to all participants, he encouraged them to continue with their game despite of win or loss to reach the national and international levels.
He stated that state government has been working on the sports sector on a priority basis by providing better facilities, infrastructures and cash incentives to sportspersons.
The state government has been working to build atleast one stadium in every district and a playground in every village of Sikkim, informed the CM.
However, he asserted that initiatives of the government would prove successful when sportspersons would bring medals for Sikkim and the country through their dedication and hard work.
On the same, the CM encouraged local sportspersons of Sikkim to make their respective sport discipline as part of their life to move forward with commitment and hard work to reach the national and international level.
He encouraged local sportspersons to take their sports discipline professionally to make a successful career of it, thereby assuring that state government will extend full support to all promising sportspersons of Sikkim to take them to the higher levels. The CM also announced five lakhs of rupees from the CM Fund to the organizing committee.
The organising committee chairman GT Dhungel said that the state government has been working to bring out sports talents from different corners of the State in the national and international levels. He urged the sportspersons to take the full benefit of opportunities created in the state, and represent the state and the nation in the near future. He further mentioned that the state government has given priority to sports to engage children and youth in healthy and productive activities.
Earlier, in his welcome address, STTC president Karma Bhutia mentioned that the club has been formed by former national players of the state in 2018 for the further development and promotion of table tennis in the State. He said that an objective of the club was to promote table tennis at the grassroot level to bring out new talents from different corners of the State. He thanked all players for their participation for the success of the state-level championship after a long gap.
On the occasion, a sub-junior national player from Sikkim, Unish Rai administered the pledge to all participating players.
The championship has single events of cadet boys and girls, sub-junior boys and girls, junior boys and girls, open men and women and veteran’s men and women. Likewise, there are events of junior boys and girls, open men and women and veterans’ men and women in doubles. The valedictory function of the championship will be held on 19 December.