Nagaland Chief Minister Calls For Fair Competitions As Khelo India University Games Begin - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland Sports

Nagaland Chief Minister calls for fair competitions as Khelo India University Games begin

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Feb 23, 2024 11:32 pm
Khelo India University Games
Neiphiu Rio and other officials with the winners at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima on Friday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, expressed hope that the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2023 Ashtalakshmi (Wrestling), which began in Kohima on Friday, would be a step towards promoting Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling in the state.

He said this while addressing the commencement programme of KIUG 2023, at Indira Gandhi Stadium Kohima, as the special guest.

The games is hosted by the Government of Nagaland and organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports along with Nagaland University.

Nagas love wrestling, though the form of wrestling that is practised by the Nagas is more akin to belt wrestling than freestyle or the Greco-Roman styles, Rio said, adding that for Nagas, wrestling as a form of entertainment and used for settling disputes and even enhance relationships.

“We do not the use the word ‘opponent’ but call him ‘khrietho-u’ or friend,” he explained.

Expressing gratitude to the central government for giving Nagaland the opportunity to co-host the 4th edition of Khelo India University Games, particularly in the wrestling discipline, the chief minister said that lacking many critical infrastructures, the state has done its best to be a good host with the limited resources.

He welcomed the athletes and officials to the state, urging the participants to give their best and compete with all fairness.

Further, Rio said that Khelo India University Games was first held in Odisha in 2020, following the resounding success of the Khelo India School Games and Khelo India Youth Games held prior to that by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The university games, he said, has risen to the highest standards with over 200 universities participating annually.

He maintained that the sporting event is organised with the objective to create aspirational values amongst budding players in the country and benchmarking technical conduct with international standards to ensure long term athletic development.

The KIUG would create a strong interlinked system of education and sports, strengthen the sports ecosystem in the universities and make it a breeding ground for champions, said Rio, who declared the games open and later presented medals to the winners of the first day’s events.

He told the gathering that the state had recently concluded the Nagaland Olympics and is now hosting the KIUG, after which it would host the Northeast Olympic Games from March 18 onwards.

Rio also reminded the athletes and the officials that Nagaland, which known as the ‘Land of Festivals’, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the international Hornbill Festival in December this year.

Meanwhile, Advisor for Youth Resources and Sports, S Keoshu Yimkhiung, delivered the welcome address, while Kethosituo Sekhose, Director of Youth Resources and Sports, led the programme and 1 Naga Girls Battalion NCC Band presented a special performance.

Over 240 athletes and about 80 officials from the Sport Authority of India (SAI), Ministry of Sports and officials from Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Adhoc-Committee are taking part in the games that will conclude on February 25.

Also read: KIUG 2023: Wrestling event starts today with no athletes from NU

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By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Feb 23, 2024 11:32:46 pm
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