Need infra to make NE a sports hub

The lockdown gave MMA fighter from Nongpoh Anthony Syiemlieh the opportunity to improvise his fitness regime. At the same time, he admits that sportspersons across the country have faced numerous hurdles during the pandemic, which also rained on his plan to promote MMA in the North East. A tête-à-tête with MT:

How was your experience this year?
This year was not that good comparing to the past years because due to all this pandemic, which the whole world is facing, sports (facilities), gym and all the fitness industry were shut down. Somehow, I managed to train at home or went for free run in the forest. After months, the gym reopened and I started to train in gym again in ground and pound. And I learned many things this year, especially in the pandemic months.
What new projects have you worked on?
I am working on a big project for an international promoter, (so) trying my best to put up to that level, just waiting for the right time.

How have sports industries in the North East suffered?
Sports industry in the North East, just comparing to mainland India, is very poor with poor facilities like playgrounds, indoor stadium, gyms and lot more. We have talented players from different sports disciplines but not the quality leadership who can lead or guide them by being his/her pillar on each and every step so that the individual feels motivated rather than falling down to zero after all the hard work. All we need is a good leader and a supportive government. I want them to focus more on it. With this, we will guaranty that the North East will be the next sport hub of India with a lot more valuable and quality players.

How have you utilised the lockdown and pandemic?
During the pandemic-induced lockdown, I tried somehow to manage to stay fit. To alleviate the lockdown boredom, I would add little fun (to the fitness regime) by working out in jungle or going for forest free run… forest is the best place where you can have the best social distancing, especially when you need meditation.

Had there been no Covid, what would have been your target as a sportsperson this year?
I would have had many more fights in these past months. I was hoping to promote more young fighters in the state and from the North East by conducting a seminar or training camp and the selected ones would have got the chance to fight in different leagues for amateurs in Meghalaya. But yes, study is important too.

Make a wish: In 2021, there will be…
Nothing much, just hoping to get more big contracts from different promoters in the coming days.