Kohima: Former captain of the Indian football team Bhaichung Bhutia said it is time for Nagaland to ‘wake up’ in the field of sports.
Addressing locals in Kohima during the inauguration of the Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) office complex on Saturday evening, Bhutia said that there is a huge scope for sports in Nagaland.
Referring to the state of Nagaland as a “sleeping giant”, Bhutia urged the need for the state to wake up. He appreciated the commitment and desire shown by the state government to develop sports in the state seriously.
Citing how the neighbouring state of Manipur has progressed after hosting national games, he suggested that Nagaland should also host national games to encourage the local sportspersons.
Lanu Toy, founding president of the Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA), appealed to the national sports leaders attending the ceremony in Kohima to explore the talents in Nagaland and bring out deserving sportspersons.
While he urged the state government to assist and develop the natural talents in the state, he advised the youth to be disciplined and consistent in pursuing their areas of interest.
Gaurav Gill, Arjuna Awardee and the FIA Asia Pacific Rally champion also shared that it is rare to see the government supporting sports and sporting bodies. He recommended that all sports disciplines be given equal opportunity to progress, for sports as an industry to grow.
The new NOA office complex in Kohima was inaugurated by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday evening. The event was attended by Dr Narinder Druv Batra, President IOA and President IHF; Adille Sumariwala, President AFI and Vice president IOA; Rajeev Mehta, General Secretary IOA; Er Lanu Toy, Founding president NOA; Chekrovolü Swuro, Nagaland’s only Arjuna Awardee and Olympian; Bhaichung Bhutia, Arjuna Awardee and former Indian Football captain; Gaurav Gill, FIA Asia Pacific Rally champion and Arjuna Awardee; and Renedy Singh, former Indian Football captain.
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