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7 Jul 2018

Push to sports growth in north

TT, Siliguri: Bengal sports minister Aroop Biswas on Friday asked members of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports & Games to jointly work with local sports bodies and take up initiatives to spot talented players from different fields and raise infrastructure for popular items.

The instruction came at the first meeting of the newly-constituted committee of the sports board at the conference hall of the state department of youth services and sports at New Secretariat Building in Calcutta.

"The minister instructed the members to contact the local sports bodies, identify the popular sports in their respective areas and take steps to spot talents and develop sports infrastructure," Nantu Paul, the vice-chairman of the sports board, said over the phone.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had formed the board in June 2016 for promotion of sports talents in north Bengal.

Bhaichung Bhutia was made its chairman. However, as he resigned from his post and severed all ties with Trinamul in February, the state announced a new committee of the board comprising 24 members last month. Former footballer Shyam Thapa was made the chairman, while Paul, a prominent face in the sports arena of Siliguri, was made his deputy.

Sources said Biswas had told the members at the meeting to focus on sports like archery, kabaddi and table tennis. #"Different other sports other than cricket and football are regularly played in north Bengal like archery in the Dooars, athletics and table-tennis in Siliguri. Many budding talents can be identified and nurtured for national and international tourneys," said Paul.

In recent times, this is the first time that the board has taken some decisions and intends to work for the purpose for which it was established. In the past two years, no major activity of the body was witnessed, said sportspersons of the region.

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