Dimapur, October 13: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said that the State Government will be coming out with a Sports Policy wherein various sporting disciplines which are suitable to our people will be identified and promoted so that players can be at par with national and international level sportspersons and solicited support from the Government of India.
Speaking at the closing function of the NE-Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship organized by the Nagaland Badminton Association at the Dimapur District Badminton Association indoor stadium at Dimapur today, the Chief Minister who was the chief host of the event said that even though Nagaland is the second senior-most State after Assam in the Northeast, the Nagaland Olympic Association could get affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association in 2004 after 41 years of Statehood even though independent India’s first Football Captain to the 1948 Olympics was Dr. T. Ao, a renowned Naga.
“For the first time we participated in the 33rd National Games held in February 2007 at Guwahati, Assam. We won 11 medals including 1 gold but in subsequent years, our performance has declined,” the Chief Minister rued and added that in any profession and especially in sports, one has to be fit, disciplined, hardworking with dedication, determination and consistency and make sacrifices to achieve dreams and goals.
Highlighting the fact that the Northeastern region has huge inborn talents and potential, Rio said that there is a lack in adequate infrastructure and training facilities due to which the potential of the youth could not be explored fully.
He hoped that the States of the region would continue to be in the news for good reasons. “Sports bring people together and so we should learn from one another and help each other so that we can build a good image. We should make the State, the Northeast and India proud. I hope we can move together in brotherhood and unity. Our youth should feel that oneness through sports. I hope to see the whole of the Northeast move forward and excel in the field of sports,” he added.
The Chief Minister further congratulated the President of NBA L. Kire and his colleagues, the DDBA, and all those involved in the success of the championship. He lauded the players for not only exhibiting their talent, sportsmanship and team spirit but also for participating which he said is equally important.
Earlier, delivering the presidential address, L. Kire IFS conveyed the good wishes of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, President of the Badminton Association of India who was supposed to attend the programme but could not due to an urgent engagement at Delhi. However, Kire stated that the region was fortunate that the BAI President himself hails from Assam and said that sportspersons of the Northeast have high expectations that Badminton sport will be promoted vigorously under Dr Himanta’s presidentship.
Touching upon the lack of sports infrastructure and facilities in Nagaland, Kire informed that the Government of Nagaland had already submitted a proposal to the Union Sports Ministry for an 8-court indoor badminton stadium which is under active consideration. He said that the Chief Minister has personally taken the initiative to request Union Sports Minister and was hopeful that with the combined support of the leaders, the project will materialize soon.
The NBA President informed that the Association was formed in the early part of 1973 and got affiliated to Badminton association of India in 1976 and is one of the most active sports association in Nagaland. He stated that the State had made achievements in the National level also but much more could be done if infrastructure and facilities are provided to promote the players.
Stating that the NE-Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship has brought people of the region closer besides promoting badminton in the region, Kire expressed gratitude to the players numbering approximately 150 and about 100 officials from all the 8 states for participating in the tournament.
Kire also thanked the Chief Minister, the Badminton Association of India, the Chief Referee and his team, Nagaland Badminton Association, Dimapur District Badminton Association, Yonex Sunrise, Dept of Youth Resources & Sports, PWD, DC Dimapur, DGP Nagaland, Commissioner of Police, Dimapur, and all the Committee Members of the tournament for their tireless efforts physically and financially towards successful conduct of the tournament. (Page News Service)