High hopes for Aainball to gain popularity in Nagaland

NABA President Azo, AFI founder president Pratap Singh and others during introductory programme in Kohima on December 8. (Morung Photo)

NABA President Azo, AFI founder president Pratap Singh and others during introductory programme in Kohima on December 8. (Morung Photo)

Our Correspondent
Kohima | December 8

Marking the introductory programme of Nagaland Aainball Association (NABA), Aainball sport training commenced today in collaboration with Department of Youth Resources & Sports, Nagaland at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima.

Originated from Morocco country, Aainball is a sport that calls for a lot of running and the use of head, feet and hands for shooting, scoring and passing. It combines some techniques of athletics, handball, football and basketball.

NABA President, Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu, MLA & leader NPF Legislature Party, thanked Pratap Singh, founder president, Aainball Federation of India (AFI) for his presence at the programme to promote Aainball in Nagaland. “We will be sincere to our work and under your guidance and advise, we will try to make sure that we promote this game in the next two to three years to the highest possible,” Azo said at the introductory programme.  

Taking the responsibility as the president of NABA, Azo said, “I will have a lot of young, dynamic, sincere and committed people behind me and work hard for promotion of this sport.” 

Azo said that Aainball was introduced and set up in Nagaland in 2020 as NABA. However, till date it could not have official set of office bearers and the team.

From next year onwards, he said, NABA will call a series of meetings and try to formulate various mechanisms to take Aainball forward.

NABA will have three advisors including Sandeep Madhukar Tamgadge, ADGP (Law & Order), T Aochuba, Conservator of Forest and Imlibenla Wati Nienu, former Miss Nagaland.

AFI aims international league in Nagaland
Pratap Singh expressed the AFI’s desire to collaborate with Hornbill Festival in near future where Aainball players from all over the world will be invited and played there. “We are planning for international league,” he said. Singh assured that Aainball will be promoted in the various districts of Nagaland. North East people have potential. You just need the platform, he said.

Singh, who is also looking after the whole Asia, said that this newly developed sport has spread over almost 14 countries. “We are promoting sports and tourism together,” he said.

Extends full support to AFI   
NABA Vice President Vesupra Kezo extended full support to AFI for promotion of Aainball in Nagaland and to bring it to a global level. Kezo, who is DCP Dimapur, also thanked the Department of Youth Resources & Sports for their support, subscribing it as the right agency to promote Aainball in the state.

“With their support, we can take this sport to various parts of the state and also include in many of the government programme,” he said.

Also appealing various agencies to promote this game together, he said “This is a new sport. We are all stakeholder of this game.” He was optimistic that this sport will grow and become popular in Nagaland.

‘This sport is here to stay’
Viruokuo, District Youth Resources Officer Kohima hoped that this sport's with its uniqueness will instill a new passion for the sport's lovers, the sports enthusiasts and the youth who have a strong inclination towards the 'newest' and the ' latest' and evince interests and enthusiasm to go ahead and absorbed anything new especially when the subject is about sports and fashion.

“I am optimistic that this sport will definitely gain recognition within a span of time,” he said.

He thanked NABA and AFI in collaborating with the department of Youth Resources & Sports for taking the initiative to install a whole new platform to the youth of the state. “I believe that hand in hand, we will promote this Sport 'Aainball' to also acquire its professional stature,” he added.

Earlier, the programme was chaired by NABA General Secretary, Avizo Nienu while NABA executive member Keviseto Rhitso led acknowledgement. Vote of thanks was proposed by NABA coach Aron Kiba.