CM’s Advisor & AFI Associate VP suggests Sports STF
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 9: Advisor to the Chief Minister of Nagaland Abu Metha, who is also the Associate Vice-President of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), has suggested setting up of a Special Task Force (STF) or a body that will function on mission mode, on the lines of TaFMA, so that sports policies, programmes and strategies can be implemented without hurdles ~ “overcoming red-tape and in time bound manner”.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Metha outlined some approaches and strategies to help promote sports in Nagaland.
He suggested that the proposed STF or sport body could consist of experienced persons in the field of sports, such as former sportspersons and experts, who can use the services of professional consultants and relevant officials of selected Departments can be made special invitees on a need basis.
“There has been much debate and deliberations across the board with regard to the state of sports in Nagaland. While all other States of the country, including our neighbouring North-Eastern States, have made much progress in the area of infrastructure and game development in the arena of sports and games, Nagaland is not performing well”, the letter read.
He pointed out that Assam and Manipur already have hosted National Games and Meghalaya is preparing to host the next edition.
The infrastructure developed and built to host National Games have become the foundation for the development of sporting talents in these States and they are regularly producing international sportspersons, including Olympic medallists, he wrote.
Metha has been politically associated with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio since the early 2000s.
In the letter, he goes on to point out that during the earlier tenures, he had suggested to the State Government to make serious efforts towards hosting National Games, and like other States, seek the Centre’s support to develop infrastructure towards this aspiration.
“However, this suggestion was not seriously considered as senior officials felt that Nagaland would not be prepared and we may face embarrassment and fall short. Since then, even our neighbouring States have moved ahead, while Nagaland still continues to face several challenges”, the letter read.
According to him, some of the challenges faced by the sports fraternity of Nagaland include poor infrastructure, lack of sports culture, absence of strong sports ecosystem, poor human resources, and negligible funding towards sport associations and sport activities.
Inculcation of sports culture and changing the sports culture in Nagaland will need investments in infrastructure, establishment of sport academies and centres of excellence, setting up high performance institutes, and pursuit of sports science in the game development from the grass roots upwards, he said.
“Enhancing nutritional allocations, engagement of specialised coaches and human resources, use of modern technology and a systematic grooming of talents with leagues, tournaments, exposures and competitions are just some of the few steps that need to be undertaken. The State needs to introduce sports scholarship, job reservations, awards and recognitions, podium target schemes in order to build up a positive ecosystem of sports, he wrote.
(Page News Service)