Solan Jajo and Solimla Jajo from Kamjong district of Manipur, who have been selected to represent Indian bodybuilding team in the upcoming senior women model physique Miss Asia 2022 and World Miss 2022 were felicitated on Monday.
The Body Building Association of Ukhrul District felicitated Solan Jajo and Solimla Jajo, both aged 17.
The two girls were selected from among eight athletes from Manipur for the 54th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship scheduled to be held in Maldives starting July 16 to 21, 2022 and the 13th World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship which will be hosted in Thailand in 2022.
Solan Jajo who completed XII standard at Alice Christian higher secondary school, Ukhrul hails from Leishi village, while Solimla Jajo who finished her XII standard at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, is from Kasom Khullen village in Manipur's Kamjong district.
Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) president David K Shimray exhorted the two young athletes to participate in the ensuing events in the true spirit of sportsmanship and professionalism. He advised youngsters to trust God first before pursuing their goals in life in order to succeed.
Robert Leishangthem Meitei, BBAUD advisor, highlighted the various challenges facing the association due to paucity of funds and other resources. Disclosing that the cost of sponsoring the two selected girls will be more than two lakhs, he stated that the onus of sponsoring is on the association as the girls are from impoverished family background.
"With no other options, we raise the fund through a free will donation drives conducted in Ukhrul town recently and managed to collect a sum of Rs 1,54,900," he said.
"In midst of the struggle, we are delighted to acknowledged that the Ukhrul district administration has promised to provide Rs 2 lakh to meet the expenses of the two selected athletes," Robert added.
During the programme, he also gave a live demonstration of how selection for the upcoming global events was done and the various criteria about the bodybuilding discipline.
Robert established Body Building Association of Ukhrul District (BBAUD) in 2014. He has represented Ukhrul district in Mr World, Mr Asia and other international championship events. The association has also groomed scores of young talents and exposed them to different international platforms.
Sharing their journey, Solan and Solimla said: "We faced many struggles and challenges in the beginning of our pursuit towards our passion. Parental disapproval in our choice of the body building discipline which is a new trend, especially for women in the district, is another roadblock that we encountered, they stressed.., Our parents, now, came to realise the importance of our passion and the various prospects it offers".
Parents and relatives of Solan and Solimla also spoke on the occasion and expressed gratitude to BBAUD for its unceasing efforts in promoting youngsters in the body building discipline.
The event was attended by representatives from the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long(TNWL), Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (TMNL), Tangkhul Shanao Long (TSL), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS), relatives and well-wishers.