NAHARLGUN( By Pradeep Kumar ) – Arunachal Olympic Association (AOA) unanimously elected its 30 office bearers for a four-year term led by Education Minister Taba Tedir as president to replace sitting incumbent Padi Richo, who served for 23 years to create a national record to the thunderous applause of representatives of 48 sports organizations from across Arunachal Pradesh.
Appreciating Richo for laying a strong foundation for the sports bridge, Tedir committed to toe the same path. Indicating that all new office bearers are very young and talent sports persons which gives enough confidence that if state’s sports persons with inherited talents are trained properly would ensure winning Olympic medals.
When asked, would he translate the dream of Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung to make Arunachal sport hub of India in future, he said that the AOA would work on a planned strategy to achieve the goal to ensure talented sports persons of the state win Olympic medals. ‘Wait and watch, he added.
However, Tedir, under his special power appointed Boleng MLA Ojing Tasing as associate vice president which received approval of the gathering.
Recalling that former chief minister Mukut Mithi was first AOA president in 1997 when he was sports minister, Richo said that he took charge in 2018 and continued since then before getting alleviated as Indian Olympic Association vice president.
He said that despite opposition from various quarters, he was successful in introduction of 5% job quota, independent allocation of Rs 700 crore to sports department for district-wise allocation which ultimately rose to Rs 1,100 crore, creation of Arunachal Pradesh Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Board with provision of 1% cess of every working department during tenure of CM Nabam Tuki. He even informed about legal victory against the state Govt for not implementing sports quota.
Though few centre of sports excellence have been allocated to the state but there is scope for one in each district with state MP Kiren Rijiju being Union MOS for Sports & Youth Affairs, he said. Informing his strong opposition to establishment of Sports of Authority of India (SAI)’s regional centre at Imphal in Manipur, he suggested to try for a SAI sub-centre in the state for expansion of sports activates as such centre gets Rs 150 core annual allocation. Richo advocated to rise above politics and all distinction for unhindered growth of sports.
While Karate Association of India president Sehan Likha Tara was chairman of AOA election commission, retired session judge Tumke Bagra as returning officer,. Flanked by ARO Adv Nabam Sonu and district sports officer Nada Apa., he termed election outcome unprecedented and historic due to better understanding among all members which would foster spirit of fellow feeling for other orgnisations to emulate.
Other officer bearers included Senior vice president Abraham K. Techi; vice presidents Nili Likha Kamin, Dr. Tadang Minu, Tarh Tagin, Kipa Takum, Kipa Kaha & Toko Teki; secretary general Bamang Tago; treasurer Bulang Marik; joint secretaries Tai Hipik, Tagru Magong, Pakjar Taipodia, Nabam Chada, Charu Govin, Vijay Sonam, TeliKahi, Techi Peko, Kamta Lapung & Sikka Gapak and 10 executive members.
Terming the AOA as guardian of all such bodies, Assam Olympic Association secretary general-cum-Assam Govt sports department chairman Lokiya Konwar, as observer, termed the day historic for electing youngest team of the nation. He exhorted the team to tap the vast potentials for the state to rise to a higher pedestal.
Reportedly many district units disqualified for the election for various lacuna, he informed as to how his unit brought desired changes upto district level units for them to be effective partners in Assam with a very supportive Govt. He suggested the new team to set a target to ensure all district units come under AOA platform,
The AOA as monitoring body has to look into physical & psychological training, diets and anti-doping aspects to make the players vie for Olympic medals and committed works are key to success, he said, adding if every district unit has been organizing a national event annually in Assam, why the AOA not propose to conduct NE Olympic Games for greater exposure of players?
While Sihan Tata presented the details of accounts, Abraham highlighted success stories of AOA despite various trials and tribulations.