Nagaland: Grassroots development initiated but where’s the promised Sports Policy?

An aerial view of the IG Stadium in Kohima. (Photo Courtesy: GIS Nagaland)

An aerial view of the IG Stadium in Kohima. (Photo Courtesy: GIS Nagaland)

Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 7

In the absence of a comprehensive Sports Policy in Nagaland, the stakeholders including the state government and sportspersons seem to be running between the wickets without a target in sight.

The PDA government in its first Cabinet meeting made a solemn promise in the field of sports – to announce a new Sports Policy within 100 days.

The  new sports policy is still on the anvil.

At the recent Khelo India Youth Games 2020 in Guwahati, Nagaland ranked bottom in the medal tally amongst the 37 states and UTs without a single medal while sister states Assam and Manipur were ranked 7th and 14th respectively.

Officials of the State Youth Resources & Sports (YR&S) Department admitted that much needs to be done to develop and promote sports in the state. “Like a baby taking small steps, the department is initiating to start from scratch by concentrating in giving free coaching to U-14 category in few selected disciplines”, a YR&S official said.

Other initiatives include the ‘Catch Them Young Tournaments’ in the district and state levels, free coaching camps, coaches development programmes and district/block level sport events. 

Department sources however said there is a long way to go in providing basic infrastructure, training and incentives to sportspersons.

On whether events such as the State Olympics and the Dr T Ao Trophy have helped develop the sporting scene in the state, YR&S officials said the Dr T Ao Trophy has been an eye opener.

“A wave of professionalism has slowly set in. The Inter-district Dr T Ao tournament which will be held annually will also pave way for more youngsters to become more professional. It is observed that with the introduction of the astro turf in IG Stadium Kohima, the standard of playing has also improved”, an official noted.

On the status of the Nagaland Sports Policy, which was reported to be in its final stages in July last year, YR&S said it is “still under examination.”