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Khelo India University Games wrestling competition begins in Kohima

Khelo India 1

Kohima, February 23: The first of its kind event in Nagaland, Khelo India University Games (KIUG) Asthalaxmi wrestling event commenced today at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima.
Nagaland is co-hosting the KING-Astalaxmi for wrestling event – Freestyle and Greco-Roman style for men and Free style for women.
Addressing the commencement ceremony, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said KIUG were first organized in 2020 in Odisha after the resounding success of Khelo India School Games and Khelo India Youth Games in the preceding years by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
Today, the University Games under the Khelo India Scheme of the Government of India have risen to the highest standards with participation from over 200 Universities annually, he said.
The Khelo India Games are organized with the objectives to create aspirational values amongst budding players in the country, benchmark technical conduct with International standards, create a platform for talent identification, ensure long term athlete development and reduce dropouts, and finally to promote sporting culture, he said.
The purpose of KIUG is also to create a strong interlinked system of education and sports, second is to promote University level sports and make it a breeding ground for champions and finally to give a boost to sports infrastructure and strengthen the sports ecosystem in the universities, he said.
Rio conveyed gratitude to the Central Government under the dynamic leadership of Narendra Modi for giving Nagaland the opportunity to be a co-host for the 4th edition of KIUG that too in the discipline of wrestling.
Though our state still lacks many critical infrastructures, we have tried our best with our limited resources to be a good host, he said.
Nagas love wrestling, though the form of wrestling that is practiced amongst our Naga people is more akin to the belt wrestling than freestyle or Greco-roman styles, he said.
“Our people have been playing wrestling as a form of entertainment, for settling disputes and even creating relationships. We do not use the word “opponent” in wrestling, but we call our opponent “Khrietho-u” or “friend”,” he said.
The Chief Minister expressed hope that holding of the KIUG Wrestling in Nagaland will be a step towards promotion of these styles of wrestling in the state.
Nagaland MLA and Advisor for YRS, S. Keoshu Yimkhiung said sports needs the potentialities of one’s own individual efforts in individual category and team effort in group category.
He also hoped that the grapplers would participate in a spirit of true sportsmanship with mutual respect towards each other.
Officials from SAI, Wrestling Federation of India Adhoc Committee, officers YRS Department and Nagaland University were present at the commencement ceremony.
Director, Youth Resources & Sports, Kethosituo Sekhose chaired the programme which started with a prayer by Pastor of Peraciezie Baptist Church Rev Dr Kevichalie Metha while 1 Naga Girls Battalion NCC Band sang the national anthem.
Around 240 athletes are competing in the 30 different weight categories with 80 officials managing the event which will conclude on February 25. (Page News Service)

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