Imagining a sports varsity? Curb the enthusiasm

Witoubou Newmai

In less than a month’s time, a major chunk of the world population will be reduced to near couch-potatoes for one month-stretch as one of the planet’s greatest sporting events, the FIFA World Cup, kicks off.


What usually emanates from such a mega event around the world are the brisk businesses for those engaging in sports items and the subsequent sporting activities everywhere at varying degrees and levels.


It is no exception in our society. Even the small colony lanes become playing arena for the imaginative youth to plant their goal posts and dreams. The shrinking play-fields rewarded by ‘development’ also contribute to such innovations.


Even as the football fever overwhelms the spirit of the youth, we are questioning the insipidity of the concerned authorities in tapping such situations in our society. In want of motivation and infrastructure, the enthusiasm of the youth soon peters out. There have been talks of good sports policies for a long time now in our society even as the shrinking rate of play-fields accelerates at a great pace. When such parroting of “will-do-this-and-that” continues to come out from jesters, the society does not have to be elated.


Sometime in the month of March this year, this newspaper had carried an interesting news item on the plans of the incumbent People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) of Nagaland regarding the ‘new’ Nagaland sports policy “which will be formulated by engaging all sections and stakeholders including inputs from professionals, international sportspersons and experienced sports administrators”.


Most recently, among many other promises for development of sports, PDA’s Common Minimum Programme (CMP) has given assurance to pursue the establishment of Sports University in Nagaland and starts a Regional Centre of Sporting Excellence in the state in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP).


According to the Chief Minister, they “have to plan a strategy where sports become an industry that provides gainful employment inside and outside the competitive arenas.”


The Chief Minister had also reportedly elucidated that “some of the salient features of this strategy will include infrastructure development, game developmental projects from grassroots upwards, capacity building of coaches and trainers, improvement of diet and nutrition, exposure and scientific training of athletes, motivation and reward and career stability for sportspersons.”


This is an impressive warp and woof of the approach of the incumbent State Government of Nagaland regarding its endeavor to promote sports.


Given the uncanny ability of those at the helm of affairs for lofty rhetoric, let’s hope that the endeavor is moderated by genuine intent, and at least translate into a modest execution.