Nagaland planning to slowly resume sporting activities - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland planning to slowly resume sporting activities

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 17, 2020 8:47 pm
  • IG Stadium in Kohima selected to be established as a Khelo India State Centre of Excellence
  • Centre keen on promoting a Naga indigenous game
  • Suggests assembly constituency tournaments
Zale Neikha
Zale Neikha addresses media persons in Kohima on July 17. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, July 17 (EMN): Boots will be laced; bows strung; gloves reacquainted with punching bags, and shuttlecocks will take flight once again as Nagaland plans to slowly resume sporting activities in the state.

The advisor for Youth Resources and Sports (YRS), Zale Neikha on Friday said that the department is undeterred with its plans to nurture sportspersons from the state and is keen to start sports activities.

Neikha, while interacting with journalists in Kohima, stated that sporting activities in the state, including planned tournaments, were all brought to a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He shared that the planned events, which have been halted, include ‘catch them young tournaments’ (district-level as well as inter-district/state level) and the Dr. T Ao inter-district football championship among others.

Neikha shared that the department intends to slowly start activating contactless sport while following strict safety protocols.

The advisor reiterated that the department would host Dr. T Ao trophy inter-district football tournament, which is scheduled to be held in the month of October in Kohima, if there is a decrease in the cases of Covid-19.

Boxing, archery and wrestling

According to the latest announcement by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the State Sports Academy at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima has been selected to be established as a Khelo India State Centre of Excellence.

According to Neikha, three sporting disciplines — archery, boxing and wrestling — would be given priority and taught at the centre of excellence, as instructed by the government. Approval from the union ministry is awaited, he added.

He informed that the Sports Authority of India would provide world-class coaches for training, facilities and infrastructure in the selected disciplines to strengthen India’s pursuit of excellence at Olympics 2028.

Neikha maintained that the central government is keen on promoting indigenous games and suggested that it is time for Nagas to come together to select one as Naga indigenous game in order to promote the same ‘since Nagas do not have a common indigenous game in the state’.

Further, he urged the people of the state to make use of the facilities and also pave the way for untapped talents and excel in the same.

Way forward and development

The advisor informed that the department, in order to promote sports in the state, is mooting the idea of organising assembly constituency tournaments in a selected discipline, so that good players and teams from every nook and corner of the state can be identified, nurtured and recognised.

“The tournament can be divided into zones and the best three can be awarded with prize money and declared winners. However, this proposal will be discussed with the higher authority for implementation,” he stated.

According to him, sport is an industry where one can earn livelihood, and each member of legislative assembly should be responsible to tap the talents of the youth.

He informed that the department would be writing to School Education department to ask the school authorities to make sport a main subject and no longer consider it as an extra-curricular activity in the syllabus; to promote sport among the youngsters and mould the young talents.

The advisor also said that works at the Dr. T Ao Regional Football Academy at Seithekiema in Dimapur, the foundation stone of which was laid in 2018, ‘is in full progress till date’.

Message to sportspersons

The advisor, while stating that even though sport activities were interrupted due to the pandemic, urged the sportspersons to be consistent in their exercise, and keep themselves fit and healthy.

He advised them (sportspersons) to make use of information technology to learn new skills, techniques and tactics from world-class players during the lockdown period.

Neikha also urged the sportspersons to obey guidelines and instructions issued by the government and strictly follow them.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 17, 2020 8:47:34 pm