Monday, January 30, 2023

Rio exhorts sportspersons at 1st NOPG 2022


Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday inaugurated the second Nagaland Olympic and first edition of the Paralympic Games (NOPG), 2022 at Capital Cultural Hall here.
Addressing the glittering opening ceremony, Rio remarked that it was a red letter day for the State especially because of the inclusion of paralympic events for people with disabilities (PWDs).
He expressed happiness at the participation of sportspersons from all 16 districts of the State – over 3,500 sportspersons and official delegates are participating in the event.
Rio, however, expressed dismay that Nagaland was lacking behind in all spheres, particularly in sports, while other neighbouring States were excelling at the national level and even representing their country at the international level, including the recently-held Commonwealth Games.
He said that despite Nagaland being a resource crunch State, the government with the support of ‘Khelo India Mission Scheme’ was making all efforts to develop sports infrastructure across the State and provide basic sports facilities to the sportspersons.
He assured of promoting games and sports among the youth since they were the hope, strength and future of the country, while encouraging the athletes to take up sports seriously. He said they would be rewarded with success if they really pursued sports with passion.
Reminding that games and sports were no longer regarded as mere entertainment or time-pass, Rio said players vying for dominance at international sporting events and winning medals indicated the advancement and maturity of the countries and people they represented.
The chief minister observed that Nagas were talented and could do well in competitions but stressed that they needed to work harder in order to realise their dreams.
“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,” Rio said.
He also maintained that sports could be used to promote unity and foster oneness among Nagas, while hoping that the youth would take interest in sports, give their best and eventually represent the State and country in national and international sporting events respectively. He remarked that professional sports could be a full-time job too, which in turn could also help a sportsperson develop a sense of dedication, determination and the basics.
He pointed out that sports taught discipline, punctuality, team spirit, oneness and camaraderie, promoted health, fitness, mental wellness and the potential to be an asset to the society.
He wished all the participants success and urged them to give their best.
The inauguration programme was chaired by Theyiesinuo Keditsu, while para-athlete T Ato Yimkhiung administered the oath to the players. He was escorted by Olympian and Arjuna Award winner Chekrovolu Swüro.
Highlights of the event include screening of a documentary on sporting activities in Nagaland and special performances and cultural presentations by various artists.
The week-long Olympic is jointly organised by the Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) and Youth Resources and Sports department.

Performers presenting special item during the opening ceremony of the Nagaland Olympic & Paralympic Games 2022 at Kohima on Monday. (NOA)
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