Kohima, August 22: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today inaugurated the week-long 2nd Nagaland Olympics and Paralympics Games (NOPG) during the opening ceremony at the State Cultural Hall here.
Addressing the mammoth gathering of sportspersons, Rio said this is a red letter day in the history of Nagaland Olympics and it is the coming together to promote and foster sports with the intent to promote oneness among the Nagas.
Inclusion of Paralympics for the specially abled persons in Nagaland Olympics for the first time depicts the Nagaland Olympics Association (NOA) motto of “stronger together”, he said.
Games and sports are no longer regarded as a mere entertainment or time-pass, he said, adding that from ages the sports arena and platform nations and states have been vying for dominance while the winning most medals indicates the advancement and maturity of the country and its citizens.
In this, Rio said Nagaland is a state lacking behind in all spheres particularly in sports and games while other neighbouring states are excelling at the national level and representation the country at the international levels including the just held CommonWealth Games.
However, Nagaland is yet to achieve medals from top world competitions, because of which in order to train the Naga youths in games and sports , the state government despite faced with lack of own recourse is trying best to develop the basic sporting infrastructure in every district headquarters along with the funding from Khelo India schemes.
Youth are the hope, strength and future of the society and sports is one discipline which can bring fame to self, state and country, he said while encouraging the youth to give their best with discipline, dedication and determination in order to take up sports professionally.
“Nagas are second to none, we have the talent and also the instinct to be sportsperson and excel but we have to work very hard to excel in this competitive arena,” said Rio.
The Chief Minister went on to state that despite being a resource crunch state, the government is making all efforts to develop infrastructure in every district through state funding and also with the support of Khelo India mission of the Central government.
Rio said all the 16 districts with more than 3500 athletes and officials are participating in this Olympics.
Meanwhile, the NOPG is being held in three districts – Kohima, Dimapur and Longleng.
Badminton will be held in Longleng district while Dimapur will host Lawn Tennis & Shooting and the Paralympics games and Kohima will host Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Basketball, Football, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Wushu.
The State will witness its first ever one-day official Paralympic Games on Tuesday at Vidhya Bhawan Higher Secondary School Dimapur in the disciplines of Para-Bocce, Para-Judo and Para-Shotput.
It has a total of 65 para-athletes, organisers and officials participating in the games, NOA informed.
The inaugural function was marked with screening of a documentary on sporting activities in Nagaland and various cultural presentations.
Para athlete T Ato Yimchunger, escorted by Olympian Chekrovolu Swüro administered the oath to the participants.
The week-long sporting extravaganza jointly organized by the NOA and Department of Youth Resources & Sports will conclude on Saturday.
(Page News Service)