Assam rewards athletes for earning laurels

GUWAHATI: The state government on Friday rewarded 12 promising athletes, who have brought laurels to the state in various national and international events, with a cash amount of Rs 50,000 each at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakhetra. The state government also felicitated Commonwealth Gold Medalist Renubala Chanu and bronze medal winner Jayanta Talukdar with Rs 10 and 5 lakhs respectively.

As declared earlier, chief minister Tarun Gogoi handed out cheques worth Rs 10 and 5 lakhs to Commonwealth Games heroes Renubala Chanu and Jayanta Talukdar.

Apart from them, young pugilist Shiva Thapa, lawn ball player Tania Chaudhury, swimmer Fariha Zaman, boxer Pranamika Bhuyan, body builder Mahadev Deka, swimmer Elvis Ali Hazarika, ex-India footballer Gilbertson Sangma and badminton coach Dipankar Bhattacharya were all given out cash incentives of Rs 50,000 each for their contribution in sports.

Renubala Chanu, who had bagged gold in the 48-kg category during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and is currently fighting fitness problems, expressed joy over the financial help. "Such kind of recognition always helps an athlete to perform to the best of ability. It will surely encourage many to pursue sports," said Renubala, an employee of Northeast Frontier Railways in Guwahati. She added that she would not be able to take part in Jharkhand National Games due to fitness problem. "But I will be completely ready for the 2012 Olympics in London," she said.

Ace swimmer Fariha Jaman asked the Board of Sports of Assam to constitute a single association for the betterment of budding swimmers. "I couldn t compete on the first day of the Senior National Championship last year due to some problems in the Assam Swimming Association. This year, the same thing might happen which will again kill my hope to play for Assam," said Fariha.

At present, the Assam born swimmer is representing Karnataka due to infighting in the Assam Swimming Association.