Developed By: iNFOTYKE
Meghalaya Games kicks off in city after 16 years
By Monoijt Mandal
Shillong: The Meghalaya Games 2019-20 sets sail in city with a rousing opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Monday.
The Games were officially opened by the Chief Minister and Chief Patron of the event Conrad K Sangma in the presence of the Sports & Youth Affairs Minister and President of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association Banteidor Lyngdoh. The oath was taken on behalf of all athletes by budding Meghalaya karate star Wandahunshisha Mawblei.
In his speech the Chief Minister congratulated the organisers for holding the Meghalaya Games after a gap of 16 years and said that sports encompasses culture, values, discipline and helps in the overall development of personality.
“It is not only the talent of the person but hard work, discipline and commitment that makes a successful sportsperson and it is these values which will produce responsible, hardworking and disciplined citizens for the state and the country,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that sports needs to be nurtured and the government is focusing on adopting a scientific approach to identify and develop the talents of young people from a very early age.
Conrad also stated that, there will be special awards given to sports person to encourage and recognize special talents in the field of games and sports from the state, and motivate the youngsters to take up sports from the very early age.
He also reiterated the commitment of the government to National Games 2022 and informed that preparations for it are at an advanced stage in all areas and he assured that all the works regarding National Games infrastructure will be completed on time. He added that the Meghalaya Games will help talents to be discovered and there is a need to hold the Games on a regular basis.
He also said that along with building up infrastructures, it is also important to prepare the athletes for the upcoming National Games, and therefore Meghalaya games will serve as a platform for the cause. Earlier the Sports & Youth Affairs Minister said that the Meghalaya Games is a platform for the young, impressionable minds to learn the values of discipline, responsibility, team spirit and hard work not only in sports but in all walks of life.
He also added that the Meghalaya Games is an opportunity to identify and prepare athletes for the National Games 2022.
The Minister also gave an overview of the preparedness of the state for the mega event. He also stated that, Meghalaya will be third state from North East to hold National Games after Manipur and Assam that hosted the mega event in 1999 and 2007 correspondingly.
The Chief Minister and the other dignitaries also unveiled a commemorative postage stamp for the Meghalaya Games and also launched the Meghalaya State Olympic Association website.
The Chief Minister, accompanied by the Sport & Youth Affairs Minister and MSOA Working President John F Kharshiing reviewed the athletes as they marched past the gallery. As part of the opening ceremony there were special contemporary and traditional musical performances as well as an artistic demonstration of the disciplines that are being featured in these Games.
However, the star of the show was the Meghalaya Games mascot named as ‘Labasa’ the clouded leopard which represents the national animal of the state. Basketball, boxing, tennis and table tennis were four disciplines that began their competitive matches on the opening day.
Tennis started with qualifying matches and in the first round Sanjeev Chettri defeated Toshan Singh Nongbet 6-0,6-4 while Gideon D Shira beat Loomdingstone Kharsohnoh 6-1, 6-2. Stardiness Kharsyntiew then beat Kitkupar Kharsohnoh 6-1, 6-1 to make it a string of straight sets victories.
In women’s basketball West Jaintia Hills cruised past North Garo Hills 21-7, while East Garo Hills’ men also had it relatively easy against South West Khasi Hills, winning 51-20. The last match of the day was closer, with South West Khasi Hills’ women edging West Garo Hills 36 points to 25.
The first medals will be distributed on Tuesday with the conclusion of the table tennis events at U Tirot Sing Syiem Indoor Stadium.