Kohima: The Angami Sports Association (ASA), the apex sports organisation of the Angami Naga tribe, is gearing up to host its 50th sports meet to be held in 2022.

Addressing a press conference in Kohima on Wednesday, ASA President, Er Lhoubeizo Kesiyie, informed that a week-long celebration of the 50th ASA sports meet anniversary will be held in February.

Formed in 1967, the Association celebrated the golden jubilee (50 years of formation) in 2017. However, as the sports meet was not an annual activity in the initial years of formation, he said that it will complete the mark only by next year.

Kesiyie also informed that there are four units from the Angami areas affiliated with the Association—Northern, Southern, Western and Chakhroma. During the sports meet, each unit is expected to come with 100 contingents each.

Games that will be played during the meet include football (men), volleyball, sepak takraw, badminton, table tennis, and athletics. For the first time, competitions for indigenous/traditional games will also be introduced with activities like bamboo stilt walk, tug of war, war cry, and folk song.

One of the major highlights of the Sports meet will be the Naga Wrestling competition, which will be held for two categories—junior (Under 16) and senior (16 years above), making it eligible for the junior category (16 years) to also participate in the senior category. For the junior category, 10 wrestlers are expected from each unit, while 18 wrestlers each are expected for the senior category.

During the day-time, the events will be held in two locations across Kohima town, one at Khouchiezie (local ground) where the Naga wrestling and athletics like the javelin, discus throw will be held, and the other location at IG stadium where football, volleyball and other athletics will be played.

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During the nights, indoor games will be conducted at the Kohima badminton and TT stadium. As the Association gears to host its 2022 sports meet, it urged the citizens and all sports lovers to be mentally and physically prepared for the mega sporting event.

Seyielhouvi Nagi, ASA general secretary, informed that for the wrestling bout, prize money will be awarded for both individual and group categories. In the individual category for Wrestling (seniors), the winner will receive a cash amount of Rs 2,00,000 followed by Rs 1,20,000 for the second, Rs 70,000 for the third, Rs 50,000 for the fourth, and Rs 10,000 each for four quarterfinalists.

The group champion in the Wrestling senior category will receive Rs 1,20,000, followed by Rs 60,000 for the second, Rs 35,000 for the third, and Rs 25,000 for the fourth.

As for the individual prizes for the junior wrestling category, the winner will receive Rs 40,000, followed by Rs 30,000 for the second, Rs 20,000 for the third, Rs 10,000 for the fourth, and Rs 5,000 each for four quarter-finalists. For the group prize, the winner will receive Rs 20,000 and the second, third and fourth will receive Rs 15,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.

For the other sports, including athletics and indigenous games, a prize pool of Rs 4,63,000 has been earmarked by the Association.

Nagi said that all SOPs directed by the state government will be organised during the sports meet. He said that the sports meet could also be called off, if the state government, as per safety protocols, does not allow it. With the success of the recent Olympic Games which was held in Tokyo, he hoped that sports events will be made possible even amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation if all protocols are followed.

Meanwhile, Kesiyie also informed that the Angami Sports Association will be extending invitations to the other Naga tribes to witness the sports meet. While the Association aims to strengthen and promote sports, he expressed dismay over the state government’s negligence in promoting sports activities, infrastructure, and the lack of support towards sports organisations in the state.

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