SAAA elects new body, resolve to resuscitate athletics in Sikkim

Gangtok, 08 Oct:

The newly formed body of Sikkim Amateur Athletic Association [SAAA] has announced plans to work towards providing more platforms and training to upcoming athletes of the State. The new body has expressed its intent to organise regular athletic events for juniors, open and veterans.

The new body of SAAA was formed during an election of the association held on 06 October at Paljor Stadium and has M Shahid as working president, Megraj Pradhan as vice-president, Allen Targain as general secretary, Anup J Baniya and Jordan Bhutia as joint general secretaries, Bikash Diyali as treasurer, Nima Wangdi Bhutia as joint treasurer and Rajiv Roka, Khirod Megi, Udai C Rai, Shishil Karthak, Sumeet Thirani, Yogesh Gurung and Buddha Tamang as executive members.

The association has Basant Pradhan as the chief coach.

Addressing a press conference here today, SAAA general secretary Mr Targain stated that the state has not witnessed any athletic events for the past five years and now the association has been revived to provide more platforms to young upcoming athletes of the State and to provide training to further hone their skills.

He mentioned that the association will organise state level events on a regular basis and also send State teams to national competitions.

To begin with, an 18-member SAAA team will be representing Sikkim at the upcoming 1st North East Olympic Games to be held from 24 to 28 October at Imphal. The state team accompanied by Basant Pradhan as team coach and Allen Targain as team manager will participate in eight events in the Games.

“Our athletes have been undergoing rigorous training and we are very hopeful of winning medals for the State especially in long distance running and shot put,” he said.

Mr Targain mentioned that the State team will also participate in the upcoming National Games to be held from 30 March to 14 April in Goa.

He informed that the association has also geared up to organize the State Athletic Meet annually from next year onwards with the focus on juniors, open and veterans. He mentioned that the association has also been working to host the National Athletic Meet in Sikkim in 2021 or 2022.

Mr Targain mentioned that the association will maintain a database on athletes of the State and work to provide better training continuously to talented and skilful athletes of the State by providing experienced coaches.

He also stated that the association will organise full and half marathons and 10 KM runs for different age groups annually in a proper manner to establish Sikkim as a marathon destination.

He also urged organisers of different marathons in Sikkim to affiliate with the association and take proper technical support from it.