SHILLONG, Oct 10: The World Bodybuilding Championship to be held in Thailand from December 28-30 will see the participation of two bodybuilders from Shillong by way of Balamphrang Kharshiing and Claudia Jessica Bamon who have been selected to take part in this prestigious event.
The two had secured their participation at Thailand after winning the recently concluded 52nd Asia Bodybuilding and Women Best Physique Championship held in Pune from October 2-7.
While Balamphrang bagged the fifth place in the 80 kgs and above category in the Asia bodybuilding championship, Jessica won silver medal in the women best physique championship.
In this regard, Meghalaya Bodybuilders’ Association (MBA) general secretary Arnold Lanong however expressed concern that players in such discipline have to spend from their own pocket for participating in such tournaments held in the country and abroad.
“The association for the last two years has not received any grants from the state government. Due to this, players, despite representing the state, were forced to spend on their own to participate in such tournaments,” he said here on Wednesday.
Lanong said when the association approached the sports department for financial support, the reply was that the main target for the department now is to prepare the state for the national games in 2022.
He however said that the association has decided to soon meet the state’s sports and youth affairs minister Banteidor Lyngdoh for his necessary intervention into the matter.
MBA president Rohit Ranjan Das said that with or without support from the government, the association and the players have decided to take part in the world championship as such opportunity may not come twice.
“We are very proud of these players and we will not stop from taking this chance,” he said.
Kharshiing and Jessica also said that they would try and make own arrangements to ensure they get to participate in the international platform.
Asked about the condition of players in other states, Jessica said, “One of the participants I met during the last competition says that she has no worry in participating in the world championship since she is getting support from the government in her state. This made me feel that why can’t my state help me too.”
Stating that bodybuilding has not been given importance as a sports discipline in Meghalaya, the female player said this is one of the reasons that most parents do not want to encourage their children to take up bodybuilding as a career.
Kharshiing, who is competing at different platforms every year, said that unlike in other states, players here find it very difficult to get sponsorships and financial support.