The 12th Manipur Polo International 2018, organized as part of the Sangai Festival will kick off from November 22 and will go on till November 29.Altogether six teams, India A (IPA), India B (Manipur), Uruguay, USA, England And Haiti will be participating in this year’s edition.
The Manipur team will be represented by P.Ojit of X-Polo Club, T. Pradeep Singh of MPSC, S.Bimol Singh of MPSC, Th Kaoba of Chingkheihunba Polo Club, Th Jacob of X-Polo Club and T.Leishemba of Chinkheihunba Polo Club.
Let’s get to know the players representing the Manipur polo team, first up Tourem Pradeepkumar Singh.
Tourem Pradeepkumar Singh � A profile Multi-talented sports person Tourem Pradeepkumar Singh, 35 years, hailing from Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal, who captained the winning Manipur team (India B) in the last edition of the Manipur Polo International, will once again play an important role in defendingthe trophy this year.
Besides polo, Pradeep has won gold in tent pegging in the All India Police Equestrian Meet 2008, a gold in National endurance championship in 2012 and a silver in the International Endurance championship in 2013.He has also represented the state in rowing in the 2001 and 2003 National games.
Sports run in the family of Pradeepkumar, father, a national football player, was known as ‘phaklangBidhu’, for his formidable defending skills, elder brother Ashok is a national level body builder, another brother Premkumar is a Karateka and younger brother Anilkumar is a national level rower.
Pradeepkumar, who started riding a horse around the age of 17, made his polo debut in Junior State Level Polo Tournament, 1994, was part of the Khurai Polo Club, winner of the Governor’s Cup in 1996 .
In 2007, he joined 5th IRB as a rifleman and that was the time he left rowing and other sports to concentrate on polo.
He has been part of the wining India B team of the Manipur Polo International tournament from 2012 to 2014, after a break of one year was back in 2016 and 2017 .
In 2003, Pradeepkumar went as part of the MHRPA team to Kolkata, was a member of the Manipur team, which won a tournament at Drass in 2012 under very trying condition.
In 2016 defeated the ASC team in Lucknow even though the team was playing on thoroughbred horses for the first time.
On being asked how the government can intervene to popularize the game of polo, Pradeep feels that as maintaining a horse is a very expensive business, the state government should extend financial assistance for their upkeep.
And more importantly, he stressed the need to ensure that each districts has a grazing ground which will go a long way in saving the Manipuri pony from extinction.
Coming to the 12th Manipur Polo International 2018, “me and my teammates will give everything to bring glory to Manipur and win the trophy this time also”, said Pradeep.
In these few days leading upto the tournament the team members will put in rigorous practice to polish their skills and to develop much needed understanding under the guidance of the coach and the manager, confided Pradeep.
He also appealed to the people of Manipur to pray for the success of the team and give their blessings.