Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday felicitated 188 medal winners and 54 coaches of the 2nd North East Olympic Games (NEOG) 2022. He also launched the Sports Scholarship Scheme at a programme held today at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong, organised by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs.
The Chief Minister congratulated and thanked all the athletes who secured medals at the recently-concluded 2nd NEOG. He said the felicitation programme is a celebration of the athletes’ achievements who brought laurels not just to their families, but also to the state. He also lauded the coaches and the sports association’s members for their hard work, dedication and assistance to the athletes.
While stressing that youth is the state’s greater strength with a population of 12 lakh in the age group of 12-30 years, the government must channelise youths’ energy in various capacities to deter them from using their energy in destructive manners, he said. He also highlighted the various youth-friendly programmes initiated by the government, such as Meghalaya Grassroots Music Programme, Aspire Programme and others.
He also stressed the need for the state to invest in sports infrastructure and build international-level arenas to push the athletes to greater heights. While informing that the refurbished J N Sports Indoor Stadium and P A Sangma Indoor Stadium will come up soon, he hoped that the athletes would get better platforms and opportunities to bring more laurels to the state and country in national and international competitions.
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The Chief Minister during the programme also launched the Sports Scholarship Scheme. This will provide a monthly scholarship to athletes who secure a medal at regional or national competitions, apart from the one-time cash award. The scheme will support athletes and invest in their different sporting needs. The NEOG athletes will be the first beneficiaries of this scheme.
The programme was also attended by Dr Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner & Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, S Awasthi, Director, Sports and Youth Affairs, and John F Kharshiing, Working President, MSOA, among others.
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