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By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The state is all set to host the Meghalaya Games which will begin from Monday as the event is set to inspire youths to excel in different disciplines of sports.
Around 1,795 athletes and officials are expected to take part. Out of the more than 1,500 athletes, 948 are male and 565 female.
Meghalaya’s youth will take inspiration and find new hope in the pursuit of sports thanks to the reintroduction of the Meghalaya Games, feels John F Kharshiing, working president of Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA).
Kharshiing was speaking at the final press conference ahead of next week’s Games at the office of the MSOA here on Friday. He was joined at the press conference by MSOA general secretary Chiranjib Choudhury and vice presidents Bor Diengdoh and Ian Lyngdoh.
“This is one of the biggest sporting events in Meghalaya in recent years,” Kharshiing said. “We thank the Government of Meghalaya for having supported us and through the Games, the youth of the state will have hope and inspiration. This is like a paradigm shift in terms of investing in the youth and if we continue to receive this level of support from the government, will be able to produce Olympic athletes by the time of the 2028 Olympic Games”.
The Meghalaya Games are also important in relation to the National Games 2022, which the state is scheduled to host. It will not only prepare the MSOA for the mega-national event but will also prepare the state’s young athletes.
“It is certainly like a test event for the National Games and we hope to have another two editions of the Meghalaya Games before 2022,” Kharshiing added. “We are having 14 disciplines now, up from 10 in the last edition of the Meghalaya Games and we will aim to include more in the next edition, so I encourage our athletes to take this opportunity and aim higher.”
The Meghalaya Games 2019-20 will begin with an opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday at 11am.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma will be the chief guest and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh will be the guest of honour.
The MSOA working president ended his address by encouraging members of the public, friends and family to attend the various events and support the state’s athletes.