Nagaland CM Declares North East Games 2024 Open At Glittering Ceremony - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland CM declares North East Games 2024 open at glittering ceremony

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 19, 2024 12:27 am
North East Games 2024
Delegates representing the eight north-eastern states during the oath taking ceremony at Regional Centre for Sporting Excellence, Sovima on Monday. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday declared the eagerly-awaited third edition of the North East Games open at the Regional Centre for Sporting Excellence in Sovima, Chümoukedima, saying that it serves as a testament to the sportsmanship and camaraderie within the north-east region

Nagaland state is hosting the North East’s biggest sporting event for the first time and the competitions will be held in Kohima, Chümoukedima and Dimapur over six days.

Speaking at the glittering opening ceremony, Rio said that festivals and sporting events, like the North East Games 2024, bring people together, while thanking the North East Sports Association for its large-heartedness in bringing together the eight north-eastern states to share a common platform.

The chief minister termed the congregation and participation of over 3000 sportspersons in the sporting event as a triumph and expressed optimism that the athletes will bring honour not only to the north-east region but also to their individual states.

He went on to say that Nagaland is the senior most state after Assam in the Indian union but local problems and unresolved political issue has impacted the lives of the youth, as well as sports, art and music sectors.

North East Games 2024
Neiphiu Rio addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of North East Games 2024. (EM Images)

Furthermore, he said that Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) was formed in the 1980s but was affiliated with the Indian Olympic Association only after 41 years due to the ‘pre-occupation’ with various problems.

The first national games that Nagaland participated in was held in Assam (2007) and since then, the vibrant and talented youth of the state have gone on to win medals not just at the regional level but also at the national and international arena, Rio said.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that unless the north-eastern states are developed, India is not developed, he urged the youth and leaders of the region to wake up and strive to fulfil this vision.

He also expressed hope that the youth will continue to help one another and bring the north-east region together, to become a significant force in the country’s sport sector.

Highlighting the north-east’s prowess in various fields of sport, he said that the region contributed at least 6.72 per cent of athletes in the 2016 Rio Olympics, despite constituting only 3.1 per cent of India’s population. Even in the FIFA under-17 tournament, 11 out of the 21 players were from the north-eastern states, underscoring the region’s significant athletic potential, he added.

Rio maintained that nobody can stop the north-east from moving forward and becoming a major contributor to the nation, particularly in the field of sports.

Delivering the welcome address, Secretary General of NOA, Abu Metha said that more than 3000 participants will vie for over 1400 medals in 15 sports disciplines. The games will be held in 12 venues across the three districts of Chümoukedima, Dimapur and Kohima.

He said that this gathering from across eight north-eastern states exemplifies the vibrancy and the ambition of ‘one people’ from the region, and maintained that sports has been a way of life for the people of the region since time immemorial.

Metha went on to say that the north-east is acknowledged as the sports bank of the country, bringing glory and pride not just to the region but also to the rest of India.

‘We may have differences, but sports bring us together and each athlete and sportsperson is an ambassador of unity, a warrior for justice and a force that will unite the north-east,’ he added.

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 19, 2024 12:27:53 am
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