By Our Reporter, TNT News | SHILLONG, Jan 03, 2018:
The signing of the host city contract for hosting the 39th National Games in Meghalaya in 2022 has been dubbed as a ‘historic day’ for the sports fraternity in the state as preparation for the mega event will usher in infrastructural development and opportunities for sports persons of Meghalaya.
The contract was signed between the Indian Olympics Association (IOA), the Meghalaya State Olympics Association (MSOA) and the Meghalaya government at Yojna Bhavan in Meghalaya secretariat here on Wednesday.
On the occasion, the Meghalaya government handed over a cheque of Rs 4.50 crore to the IOA as bidding amount. The total bidding amount is Rs 5 crore. Earlier, the state government had submitted a bank draft of Rs. 50 lakh to the IOA.
“We are going through extra ordinary times. Lot of efforts was put in to turn this into a reality and we hope that there will be an all-round development. The whole country is turning its gaze to the Northeast and National Games 2022 will put Meghalaya in the map of the Olympics as a ‘catalyst’,” said MSOA working president John F Kharshiing.
Stating that the signing of the host city contract marks the beginning of a new era in the sports sector in the state, Kharshiing said that it is a momentous occasion as it brings new hopes to the people of the state particularly the youth.
“The talented youth can now look forward to something as this is an opportunity to make a name for themselves,” Kharshiing said adding that the signing of the contract is also part of remembering those sports persons who never got the opportunity to carry forward due to lack of infrastructure. “This day is dedicated to sports persons of Meghalaya,” he commented.
When asked about the preparation, the MSOA working president said “We need to prepare ourselves for the future. We have constituted a working group and with the government we will form the organizing committee to work out the modalities.”
Meanwhile, IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta termed this event as a ‘golden’ day for Meghalaya adding that the contract is to ensure that the host city finishes the preparation on time. “IOA will provide full support,” he said adding that this is a good opportunity for Northeast to host the games.
Stating that the 12th South Asian Games 2016 held in Shillong and Guwahati speak volume about the capability of the state to host the national games, Mehta said that the state needs good infrastructure and with the cooperation of the centre and state governments, “We can build good infrastructure in the state like we have done in Manipur and Assam,” he added.
Mehta also informed that a total of 40 disciplines affiliated with IOA will likely be included in the Games. In view of the newly added disciplines in Tokyo Olympics, the number of disciplines to be included in the National Games might also go up.
Stating that with good infrastructure the country can bid for Olympics, Mehta said every state are given an opportunity to transform the sporting sector with a view of making the country fit and viable for hosting the Olympics.
The IOA, on March 2017 formally announced that Meghalaya would host the National Games 2022, after the state had made a bid to host the mega event. So far, only two states from North East- Assam and Manipur — have hosted the National Games.
Cabinet Minister Ronnie V Lyngdoh remarked “Today our state inches closer to the landmark day of hosting the National Games,” while appreciating the efforts of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma for bidding to host the mega event after the success of the 16th South Asian Games.
“Sports is a global activity and it is only befitting that we celebrate our 50 years of statehood by hosting the National Games,” Lyngdoh said urging stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring its success while citing that the hosting of the National Games, the state will be endowed with international standard infrastructure.