Govt. will support dedicated sportspersons — Neiphiu Rio
Kohima, Jan. 12 (EMN): Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday stated that the world is competing with each other through sports and added, ‘if you dedicate yourself then the government will also support you’.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Western Angami ‘D’ Sports Association (WADSA) 50th anniversary at Kikruphema ground, Peducha in Kohima district.
Extending jubilee greetings on the inaugural ceremony of the four-day sports meet, he expressed happiness on learning that the villages had constructed a playground for the people stating that it’s a great occasion to see the sportspersons and the parade which was inspiring.
‘Even a small country can defeat a big country as there is equal opportunity in sports’, he said.
However, he reminded the players to be dedicated and that they should not think small of themselves, adding that players have to be persistent, disciplined and determined in order to progress.
Asserting that the government is also focusing on sports, Rio reminded about the police sports battalion which will be formed where talented sportspersons will be appointed, while gifted children would be given the chance to study and also get trained at the same time.
‘Nagas have lost a lot of time and talent in the field of games and sports because of the Naga issue’, he maintained, affirming that despite attaining statehood in 1963, Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) got affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) only after 41 years in 2004.
Being the oldest state in the Northeast after Assam, he said it was high time they host the national games keeping in mind how most of the neighbouring states have already hosted it.
However, he argued that because Nagaland has a very less medal prospect, they are skeptical of asking to host the event.
He informed that they are upgrading the regional centre of sports excellence in Kohima and Dimapur and coming up with various sports infrastructures at the same time.
Mentioning about the possibility of conducting Nagaland Mini Olympics in the state this year to be followed by both the Northeast Olympics and the national games in Meghalaya, he urged the youth to be focused and bring laurels to the state.
Rio underlined the need to work hard and bring laurels to the state through sports and bring good name to Nagaland which is “famous for its insurgency and disturbed area tags”.
While the world has been adversely affected in an unprecedented way during the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he stated about the recent tragic incident at Oting in Mon district which impacted all Nagas.
Maintaining that only those who had been infected by the pandemic disease would understand the weight, Rio informed that the Omicron outbreak is just beginning.
Stating that there are heavy tolls all over the world, he informed that about 8.39 lakh people in America had already succumbed to Covid-19 despite being a well-developed country.
He also informed that Covid-19 had taken the lives of 4.84 lakh Indians including Nagaland. As such, he appealed to everyone to get vaccinated in order to withstand the pandemic.
Informing that there are many events ahead, he stated that the conduct of such activities depended on the well-being of the people.
Earlier, Rio also unveiled the WADSA golden jubilee monolith and inaugurated the Kikruphema ground while releasing the jubilee souvenir.
Hundreds of contingents representing the five villages under WADSA — Mengujuma, Thekrejuma, Sechü Zubza, Sechüma and Kikruphema — marched in, while prominent sportspersons lighted up the WADSA flame.
The four-day golden jubilee sports meet of WADSA will feature Naga style wrestling (seniors and juniors), athletics and games.
The events will conclude on January 15 with MLA Keneizhakho Nakhro as the guest of honour.