The Assam Olympic Association (AOA) felicitated several star athletes from the state at a grand ceremony held on Thursday.
The event was graced by Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, and the President of AOA, who presented the athletes with a gamusa, a japi, a memento, and a coequal of Rs 50,000 each.
Among the athletes honored were Lovlina Borgohain, who recently won the IBA World Boxing Championship, Nayanmoni Saikia, who won the Gold at the Commonwealth Games, and Hemanta Kalita, Secretary General of Boxing Federation of India. AOA also felicitated several other outstanding athletes and a coach for their remarkable contributions in their respective fields of sport.
Sonowal praised the athletes for their impressive performance and expressed his admiration for their efforts. He congratulated them for their achievements, adding that they have not only made the state proud but also given hope to the sports fraternity of Assam for a brighter future.
Sonowal also acknowledged the revolutionary changes in sports in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He mentioned the policy changes implemented by Modi, which created a conducive environment for athletes to perform and excel on the global stage while also evolving national-level competitions. He further highlighted the immense potential of Northeast India in sports and the recognition of this potential by Modi. Sonowal emphasized the importance of sports in building a healthy nation and stated that the effort to support athletes and build an environment conducive to better performance remains absolute under Modi's leadership.
Lovlina Borgohain, the IBA World boxing champion and Olympic medalist, thanked the AOA for according her the honor, saying that it motivates her to keep moving forward.
She expressed hope that the recognition of her feat would further the awareness of sports as a successful career option. She also acknowledged Sonowal for his support in her journey as a sportsperson and announced the start of a foundation to educate upcoming sportspersons about various issues or concerns that one faces while competing at the top level.