[Manipur], January 6 (ANI): Women polo players in Manipur are putting their best efforts in promoting the sport in the state, selflessly dedicating themselves to preserve a game that has been an inseparable part of Manipuri culture since time immemorial.
The modern game of polo originated in Manipur, and was known as 'Sagol Kangjei', 'Kanjai-bazee', or 'Pulu'. It was the anglicised form of the last desription, referring to the wooden ball that was used, which was adopted as the sport spread to the west.
The first polo club was established in Silchar, Assam in 1833.
Earlier, the game was only played by male's group. However, with time, Manipuri women also started taking an interest in polo.
The introduction of an International polo championships a the Imphal Polo Ground attracted more women horse riders.
The first Women Polo Tournament was introduced in 1992 in the state that was organised by the All Manipur Polo Association.
At present, the 13th Women Polo Tournament is taking place as a part of the polo tournament, including two other tournaments, which is being organised by the All Manipur Polo Association.
Three women polo teams are taking part in the tournament.
Polo in 21st-century Manipur has redefined itself. In fact, the term 'polo women power' has been used to describe the sport's revival in the state. This connotation came to limelight in January 2016, when the United States Polo Association (USPA) team arrived here to play against the Manipur women's polo team.
This event proved to be a major boost for women polo players in the state. It also smashed the notion that only men (or, for that matter, the stronger gender) could play this sport. In fact, that was the first event of its kind that focused on women polo at an international level.
"We are at present undergoing the three tournament men's polo tournament, women's polo tournament, and for the first time junior boys polo tournament. We are focusing this time on women's polo in the sense that it needs to be promoted in Manipur so that we can compete with the women polo tournaments organized in other parts of the world", Dr Saratchandra Singh, President, All Manipur Polo Association told ANI.
"Women's polo is lagging behind in Manipur because it is not well advanced and organized as it is in other parts of the world like the United States, United Kingdom. If at we want to promote women's polo, we need to organize polo tournaments regularly and at the same keep training the women players. We are now taking care of that part of the polo training amongst girls," he added. (ANI)