Nongpoh, July 27, 2018:
A 21-year-old youth from Law Byrwa village in Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya, Shiningstar Basaiawmoit has done his state proud by bagging the third prize in the under 21 Asia category at the Malabar River Festival, a kayaking event held in Kerala from July 19-22.
This young man, who once didn’t even know this water-sport existed, is now paddling all the way to the top. Last year, he bagged the first prize in the Intermediate category of the Kali Kayak festival held in Karnataka.
There were 100 participants from 19 countries in the Malabar River Festival. Mike Dawson from New Zealand was the overall winner.
“I am grateful to Shillong Whitewater Village for bestowing their best wishes besides the required skills, equipping me with the skills to compete in an international platform. I am also grateful to my friends, sponsors and all those who supported me,” Basaiawmoit told Shillong News over the phone on Friday.
“The thrill and adrenaline rush I get from competing in such events is worth cherishing and it pushes me to do better, to conquer more rivers and to challenge myself,” said the young Kayaking enthusiast.
Along with Basaiawmoit, two other young kayaking enthusiasts from the state — Juneborlang L Nongbri and David Vincent also took part in the competition.
The 21-year-old youth is a student of Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Shillong. He kayaks at Whitewater Village, a whitewater kayak park located near Sumer in Ri Bhoi district and run by Ian and Sheela Vincent.
Shiningstar and Juneborlang have undergone training at this facility for 2 years now, free of cost. “For the past two years, we have been imparting training to both Shining and June and they have displayed immense love for the sport and the will to face the challenges throughout,” said Sheela Vincent.
Along with her husband, Ian Vincent and son, David Vincent, Sheela have been involved in training the youths for mega events. “We take the boys to various festivals, provide them with the much needed exposure and help hone their skills and talents,” she said.
She also informed that this year too, the state will host the 3rd Meghalaya Kayak Festival in the month of October, an event which will witness the participation of Kayaking enthusiasts from across the globe.
“The only challenge we face is the finance. In Kerala, the government is actively involved in promoting this sport, it will be good to get similar support from the government here. It will be highly appreciated,” she highlighted.