Nagaland should bid for national games, says Rio
Kohima, March 26 (EMN): Even as Nagaland hosted a ‘historic’ sporting event on Saturday, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is determined to bid for more such games in the future.
‘We should bid for national games and to get support from sports federations in the country’, Rio said, addressing the grand finale of the national and international cross country race, at Kohima Cultural Hall.
In a first, Nagaland hosted South Asian Cross Country Championships 2022 and 56th National Cross Country Championships at the state capital Kohima on Saturday, with hundreds of athletes from five countries including India participating during the event.
With that, he also expressed hope to improve and build more sports infrastructure in the state and catch up with the rest of the country.
He lauded state participants for bringing laurels and said their achievements would encourage and strengthen the belief of the people.
Congratulating all winners as well as participants, he requested them to take good memories back home and make Nagaland known to the rest of the world.
President of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), Adille Sumariwalla said that talent exists in Nagaland and with the right kind of support, players can reach national and international level.
He hoped to see Nagaland participate in the grassroots level programmes of the AFI. In this regard, he requested the chief minister to create centres in the districts to which AFI will give technical support.
The president said that the event was conducted and managed with the highest standard. He added that the event created enthusiasm in the youths as Nagaland had won its “first ever” medal (bronze) in the national event.
Arjuna awardee, Olympian and senior vice president of AFI, Anju Bobby George, also addressed the event and congratulated the athletes.
President of South Asian Athletics Federation, Dr. Lalit K Bhanot also stated that the state must start high performance centres and provide facilities to the talented players.
He thanked the five countries –India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Maldives — for their participation in the South Asian Accountants Federation’s (SAAF) SACCC 2022, while informing that many countries could not participate due to Covid-19 protocols.
President of Nagaland Athletics Federation and Associate Vice President of Athletics Federation of India, Abu Metha said the event has given ‘Naga youth the ambition to understand the fact that if given an opportunity they can do better than anybody else’.
Today, Nagaland announced its arrival in the national and international scene, he added and asked participants to be ambassadors of Nagaland even as they return to their home states and countries.
Athletes from Nagaland were acknowledged during the ceremony.