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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

State to host paragliding championship

Organised by the Meghalaya Aero and Adventure Sports Association (MAASA), the mega event will witness participation of both national and international pilots.

SHILLONG:

Meghalaya, which has been identified as one of the best places for paragliding sports will for the first time ever hold an Open Paragliding Accuracy Championship Asian League at Rapleng village in East Khasi Hills district from December 7 to 10.

Organised by the Meghalaya Aero and Adventure Sports Association (MAASA), the mega event will witness participation of both national and international pilots.

Speaking to media persons, chief judge of the championship and member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) India Raju Rai said that the objective of organising this mega paragliding competition in Meghalaya is to promote adventure sports in the state, which is blessed with natural landscapes and with perfect wind conditions.

“The championship is also combined with Asian League and technically speaking there are two games and it is for the first time that is happening in India as winners will be able to qualify for the Asian League scheduled in Thailand next year” said Rai.

Rai informed that as per sanction of the FAI maximum 100 pilots will be allowed to take part in the championship but as of now the registration is going on and as of today more than 143 — both national and international pilots from United States of America, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, South Korea and Indonesia have registered with MAASA.

He added that as per discussion with organisers there has been a good response as Meghalaya is one of the best places to organise such mega events in paragliding sports and now the MAASA have increased its participants to 110.

“Meghalaya is blessed with natural landscape and beautiful hills with perfect wind conditions and weather and this will give pilots six to seven hours of flying time to help especially local pilots trained in all disciplines to be able to compete with international pilots in days to come” he added.

Meanwhile president of MAASA Desmond Nongkhlaw said that as of now they have spoken to the state government and MAASA has received Rs 25 lakh to organise this event and championship.

Nongkhlaw said that MAASA is in talks with the government to increase the funding so that they can do better in organising such competitions and also to be able to provide training for local youths of the state.

“Right now MAASA is providing training to local youths at Madan Rapleng, East Khasi Hills district and this is being sponsored by the Meghalaya Skill Development Society  (MSDA) and as of today there are 32 students who are being trained by MAASA,” said Nongkhlaw.

Nongkhlaw said that these students who are being trained at Madan Rapleng will prepare themselves in a matter of two to three years so that they can also go for competitions and through this kind of training they can set up their own livelihood in the respective areas.

He added that the youths through this training programme can also earn as this project not only promotes aerial sports but also promotes adventure tourism especially in rural areas with beautiful and natural landscapes.

Nongkhlaw stressed that Meghalaya is blessed with beautiful hilly terrain fit for such adventure sports all over the state be it in West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills or Ri Bhoi district and Meghalaya has a capacity to organise a lot of paragliding activities.

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