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Sports

SACC C’ship will promote sports & give opportunities to Naga youths: Abu Metha

SACC Cship
Associate Vice President, Athletes Federation of India and Advisor to CM , Abu Metha with the Volunteers for the upcoming Asian Cross Country Championship and the 56th National Cross Championship on 23rd March 2022 at the Nagaland Olympic Association Office, Kohima.

Dimapur, March 22: Interacting with the AIR personnel at Nagaland Olympic Association Office Kohima on March 22, Vice President, Nagaland Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Abu Metha said the mascot of the South Asian Cross-Country Championships and 56th National Cross-Country Championships is ‘Akimji’ meaning – happy, running Hornbill bird. ‘Akimji’ is a Sumi word and a connotation of the words ‘aim, goal or ambition’. He said the event signifies the energy and ambition of the new generation of the Naga youths and to show that the Nagas have arrived at the international stage and aspire to reach a higher standard.
Dwelling on the significance of the event being held in Nagaland, Metha said, “Such a big event coming to our own backyard allows our athletes to compete at national and international level in our home conditions.”
Apart from promoting brand Nagaland, the event would develop, promote sports and give opportunities to the youths. He informed that the athletes will be running different races of 2 Kms to 10 Kms and the main events will be held at Indira Gandhi Stadium.
According to DIPR report, Abu said so many challenges were faced because the state has never hosted an event so big, adding, “‘More than 800 athletes from all the states and Union Territories are participating; international athletes are coming from South East Asia, and highest level sports administrators are arriving so to accommodate the entire personnel the logistical exercise is enormous”.
He said that despite of infrastructure problem, Kohima is ready to deliver one of the best South Asian athletic events.
On athletes from the state, Metha said more than 20 athletes are in the Nagaland team and they will have the opportunity to compete in their own backyard, perform well and get selected to represent India at international events.
On selection process of athletes representing the state, he said the coaches, technical officials were trained first and then they conducted three events where the best performing athletes were selected. A state level coaching camp for the athletes were conducted for 30 days.
He said the information on the information of the event can be accessed through the link of the IT Department Nagaland, Athletic Federation of India Website. Nagaland Athletics Association has Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Metha believes that in the next 5 to 10 years, India would emerge as a superpower in sports and the Northeast India is a hub of sports talent, “we need to tap and convert the talents into champions and medal.”
He lamented that the state has not been successful in making significant investments in the infrastructure for a good system of sports. There must be an infrastructure of ecosystem that helps in uplifting sports and human resources that promotes sports.
He added that there must be scholarships, training schemes and medical support, budgets for nutrition and diet, and most importantly, sports has to be approached as Science.
“It’s no longer a recreational or a hobby. Sports is a billion dollar industry, we must be competent to ensure we create opportunities for our youth to get into this industry,” he said and urged the Government to educate the grassroot level about sports, to provide good infrastructure, and to have a policy of rewarding sportspersons and recognising their efforts to change the narrative about sports.
The Nagaland Athletics Association officially handed over the uniforms to the Nagaland Team participating in the upcoming South Asian Cross Country Championships and the 56th National Cross Country Championships on Sunday evening.
Handing out the uniforms designed by an in-house team, President of Nagaland Athletics Association & Associate vice-president of Athletics Federation of India (AFI), Abu Metha gave an illustration of how the athletes have earned the uniform. “Value it and wear it with pride. Make our Nagaland and India proud”, he exhorted.
Altogether 26 athletes from Nagaland will be taking part in the sporting event scheduled to be held at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima on March 26. They are currently being coached by a Head Coach and a High Performance Coach.
An Organising Committee has also been set up for the upcoming event with chief minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio as the Convenor.
As Nagaland gears up for what is expected to be the biggest sporting event in the history of the state- South Asian Cross Country Championships and the 56th National Cross Country Championships, South Asian countries including Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India have confirmed their participation making up for a total of 71 participants from the international team.
The event is scheduled to be held on March 26 at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima, Nagaland wherein both the international team and national team will start arriving in Nagaland two days prior to the event on March 24 and 25 respectively.
A total number of 667 athletes from different states of India including 31 states and 3 boards will be part of the sporting event. These include Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Punjab, Pondicherry, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and boards namely All India Police Sports Control, Railway Sports Promotion Board, Service Sports Control Board.
(Page News Service)

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