NF Railway investing heavily in sports infrastructure across Northeast 

One of the objectives is to upgrade the quality of individual sportspersons playing for the railways and increase the bench strength of the national carrier’s teams, officials said.

A cricket stadium at Maligaon and a football ground at Pandu nearby are being upgraded. 

A cricket stadium at Maligaon and a football ground at Pandu nearby are being upgraded.  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

One of the objectives is to upgrade the quality of individual sportspersons playing for the railways and increase the bench strength of the national carrier’s teams, officials said.

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is investing heavily in sports infrastructure to produce ace athletes from a “large pool of raw talents”.

One of the objectives is to upgrade the quality of individual sportspersons playing for the railways and increase the bench strength of the national carrier’s teams, officials said.

“We have in the last six months completed a gymnasium of international standard, a weightlifting arena with competition and practice platforms, a physiotherapy room for sportspersons and an indoor cricket hall with Astroturf and bowling machines,” NFR’s general manager Anshul Gupta said. 

These facilities are around NFR’s headquarters in Guwahati’s Maligaon where a multipurpose stadium is coming up. This stadium will have a six-lane synthetic track, a boxing ring, and basketball, archery and volleyball courts. 

A cricket stadium at Maligaon and a football ground at Pandu nearby are also being upgraded. 

“We have also taken up a multipurpose stadium project in (eastern Assam’s) Dibrugarh while work on the National Centre of Excellence, a joint venture with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), at Cooch Behar (northern West Bengal) is in progress,” Gupta said. 

The Cooch Behar facility, estimated to cost INR 300 crore, will have 11 disciplines. 

“The NFR is not neglecting the other northeastern States that are barely on the country’s railway map. Joint ventures are being formed with the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram for a multipurpose sports complex each,” Rajiv Mahajan, the president of NFR Sports Association said. 

There are more than 2,000 children and youths from the region undergoing training at the existing sports facilities of the NFR, he added. 

The first major event to underline NFR’s thrust on “empowering sportspersons” in the northeast is the first-ever series of half-marathons scheduled on February 5. The half-marathons would be organised in Guwahati, Darjeeling, Tawang and Gangtok. 

About 3,000 runners from across India are expected to participate in the half-marathons for a total prize money of INR 11 lakh, NFR officials said.

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