Gangtok, 08 Jan:
Franchise owners of Jorethang Premier Badminton League [JPBL] have endorsed that an event like JPBL will encourage professionalism in sports in the State.
They are confident that JPBL will not only provide a good platform to talented shuttlers of the State, but also encourage them to pursue a career in sports. They also congratulated Badminton Association of Jorethang for taking such a unique initiative to inject professionalism into the sport in the State.
JPBL-2 is being organized by Badminton Association of Jorethang [BAJ] in association with Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s Sports wing & Labour front under the aegis of Badminton Association of Sikkim [BAS].
Six teams placed their bids from the top shuttlers of the State during the auction held on 05 December at Jorethang for 66 players.
The second edition of the league has Red Panda GMTS owned by former Minister GM Gurung and Tshering Sherpa, United Sikkim Shuttlers owned this year by Indian Olympian archer, Tarundeep Rai and football icon, Bhaichung Bhutia, The Poklok Warriors owned by RB Tamang, Dallam Express owned by Power Minister, MN Sherpa, David Warriors owned by Political Secretary to the CM, Jacob Khaling, and Chakung-Soreng MLA, Aditya Golay, and the home team, Salghari Zoom Blockers owned by area MLA, Sunita Gajmer.
Addressing a press conference here this evening, David Warriors’ co-owner, Jacob Khaling, expressed happiness and excitement on being part of JPBL-2.
While congratulating the organizing committee, he said that JPBL will be a milestone for talented and budding players of the State to take up sports as a career.
He further expressed that such an event will create a healthy and competitive environment for sportspersons and promote professionalism in sports.
“We have taken personal interest in this event to encourage local players by creating a healthy platform for talented young players of the State and to bring professionalism. We are here to win but we are more focused on opening doors for players to become professional sportspersons,” Mr Khaling expressed.
David Warriors’ co-owner, Aditya Golay, added, “We have many talented sportspersons in every corner of the State who need a good platform and support from all sides to excel in their respective sports. JPBL is a good platform for players here and we want to encourage professionalism.”
He stressed the need for such initiatives to be replicated in every sport in the State to encourage local players.
United Sikkim Shuttlers co-owner, Bhaichung Bhutia, also congratulated the organizers for promoting professional sports in the State.
He also shared his interest and national participation in badminton during his school days. He said that JPBL was a good start to provide a better platform and exposure to talented shuttlers of the State and added that JPBL was a great concept to build professionalism in sports in Sikkim.
He also reiterated the need to inculcate this concept in other sports as well.
“We want to win the championship title of the JPBL 2 to give this gift to Tarundeep Rai before his participation in the upcoming Olympics,” Mr Bhutia added.
Red Panda GMTS co-owner, Tshering Sherpa, in turn, stressed the need of support from all sides for local players to take them to the higher levels.
“We have lots of talented badminton players and they need support and encouragement from all sides to take them to a higher level. JPBL will definitely motivate players to perform better,” he said.
A player-cum-member of Salghari-Zoom Blockers, Alphonso Gajmer, conveyed his best wishes to all participating teams in JPBL-2. He also expressed that such a concept was much-needed in all other sports in the State to promote professionalism.
He stated that Salghari-Zoom area MLA, Sunita Gajmer, has been working to promote sportspersons from her constituency at the state and national level.
Rinzing Wangyal Chopel from SKM sports wing expressed his happiness on the party’s association with the event.
He said that the event should serve as an eye-opener for other sports associations of the State to promote professionalism and encourage local sportspersons.
BAJ president, Jigmey Namgyal, who is also the head of the organizing committee, said that the organizing committee has been trying to bring Indian badminton icon, Gopichand, to JPBL-2 to further promote the league at the international level. JPBL will be played on 15 and 16 February at Jorethang.
Responding to media queries, Political Secretary to the CM, Mr Khaling stated that the sports was a priority sector of the State government. He added that many long-delayed sports infrastructures were now on the verge of completion and added that the government has revived rural sports and other competitions to provide more platforms to local sportspersons.
He further assured to support and promote the JPBL format in other sports in the State.
Likewise, Chakung-Soreng MLA, Mr Golay added that the State government and the CM have been supporting and encouraging local sportspersons and urged individuals and organisations to support local talent with their presence and encouragement during the event.