Nurturing Sporting Dreams - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nurturing Sporting Dreams

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 14, 2024 12:17 am

The much-awaited Nagaland Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024 began with thousands of athletes from 16 districts of the state converging in Dimapur and Chümoukedima to vie for coveted medals and bring laurels to their respective districts. The competitions will be held in more than a dozen disciplines over six days. This sporting event, in a way, is a testament to the state government’s proclaimed commitment to promoting sports among the youth and catching them young. Irrespective of the opinion people have on the event, one can’t deny the platform it provides to young sportspersons to showcase their talent and climb the ladder from there. Its positive impact was evident from the impressive performance of Nagaland in the 37th edition of the National Games held last year, bringing home eight medals, including a gold, three silver, and four bronze, after drawing a blank in the previous two editions. The state also increased its medal tally from 39 at the 1st North East Olympic Games held in Imphal to 79 in the second edition held in Meghalaya. Slowly but steadily, the state is beginning to hit the headlines in sports, the latest being the winning of two gold medals by the Indian women’s team at the recent 5th South Asian Sepaktakraw Championships held in Nepal, where four of the players and a coach were from Nagaland.

The strides made by the state in the field of sports are encouraging. The effort put in by the state government in enhancing infrastructure, including the construction of sports complexes and several football fields with artificial grass in various districts, has not gone in vain. This positive result should motivate the government towards providing world-class facilities to sportspersons and building a strong sports eco-system. Meanwhile, sportspersons and athletes should reciprocate by making good use of the available facilities. Sporting events like the ongoing Nagaland Olympic and Paralympic Games are big opportunities not only to showcase one’s talent but also to hone one’s skills. Sportspersons should use it as a springboard for bigger events like the National Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics. They should start with the upcoming 3rd North East Olympic Games, which will be hosted by the state next month. Having said that, it is disheartening to see district sports associations issuing notifications for trials to select their teams just weeks before the state’s biggest sporting event begins. Preparations and the selection process could have been conducted much earlier for an event of this magnitude. Sports should be pursued as a rewarding career option rather than a seasonal quest or a hobby, if one is to compete at the highest level. The outlook towards sports has to change if Nagaland is to produce more Dr. Talimeren Aos and Chekrovolü Swüros.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 14, 2024 12:17:15 am
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