Nagaland to host 56th National Cross Country Championship
Kohima, Oct. 2 (EMN): Nagaland will host the 56th edition of National Cross Country Championship (NCCC) scheduled to be held on January 15 next year.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Nagaland Athletics Association (NAA) President Abu Metha, who is also the Associate Vice President of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), said Nagaland has been allotted to host the 56th NCCC 2022.
He informed that NAA (affiliated to AFI) has put up a bid in an executive meeting of AFI held in Rajasthan recently, to host the event here in Nagaland, to which AFI responded positively.
‘The association went for this bid because they felt there is a lot of potential for Nagaland to do well in middle distance, long distance, marathon and cross country events’, he informed.
“This will be the first ever event as far as athletics is concerned to be hosted here in Nagaland”, Metha added.
It is expecting affiliated associations from across the country, top athletes who have represented India in international events to come and participate.
Towards this event, the association has worked out an elaborate plan for athletes in the coming months, ahead of the national championship scheduled next year in Kohima.
NAA will be holding district-level cross country events for school children, college kids and for athletes.
It would then come to a state-level championship which will be held in Kohima. Best athletes will be selected from the state level championship as Nagaland team, who will undergo intensive coaching so that they can participate in the national level.
For this, the association is hoping to kick-off by the later part of October and by December it is targeting to have a state-level event.
‘AFI is of the view that there is a tremendous amount of potential and talent in athletics as far as North East is concerned. But due to poor resources, lack of infrastructure and support system, athletes have not done as well as their counterparts in the rest of the country. Therefore, AFI is keen to promote the athletics in the NE and that aspiration will be kick started from hosting the national championship here in Nagaland’, Metha said.
Abu Metha, who is also an advisor to Nagaland chief minister, thanked the Nagaland Olympic Association and CM for positively responding to the NAA’s request to bid for this event.
It will be a collaborative event between the AFI, NAA and the state government.
Prior to the NCCC, a team of technical officials will visit Nagaland and the state’s team of technical officials will also have interactive meetings with AFI and formulate a game plan and then the event will be finalised, he informed.
Meanwhile, athletes who win this event will go on to represent India at the international levels.
‘It is a fantastic opportunity for athletes from Nagaland to get exposure to compete with the best in the country and also to assess where we stand. It’s also an opportunity to bring in a national event which had never happened here in Nagaland and interact with the AFI. It’s an opportunity not just for athletes but for the administrators, depts. and for the sports fraternity as a whole,’ Metha observed.
He further added that athletics in Nagaland is still at the grassroots level. NAA is taking this opportunity to develop local talent and to identify them at school level. Meanwhile, CM Neiphiu Rio thanked AFI for allotting the championship to Nagaland. “This will be the first ever national athletic event to be hosted by Nagaland”, he wrote in a tweet on Saturday.