Chief Minister Pema Khandu this morning declared open the two-days 5th North East National Level Karate-do Championship here at Nyokum Lapang General Ground.
Being held for the second time in the state, ten teams from the region would be vying against each other in this edition of the championship. The teams are Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and hosts Arunachal Pradesh besides a team each from Arunachal Pradesh Police Sports Control Board (APPSCB), Assam Riffles and Darjeeling Gorkha Karate Association (DGKA).
Addressing the participants and officials, Khandu lauded the unity and coordination amongst the state level Karate association of the region in projecting North East as a hub of promising and talented karate players. He said due to pioneers like Likha Tara, who heads the joint organisation of all North Eastern Karate associations –NESKFI – Karate has emerged as a sport that the states from the region excel in.
“Our youths – particularly from Arunachal Pradesh, have carved a niche not only in regional and national levels but also in international tournaments,” he asserted and expressed gratitude to the state Karate association for giving ample opportunities to players by not missing a single tournament of any level since its inception.
Khandu informed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government is giving special focus in developing sports infrastructure in the region. He said laying of foundation stone for a National Sports University during Modi’s recent visit to Manipur is just one example.
Reiterating the state government’s commitment to develop the sports sector, Khandu assured to construct an Olympic Bhavan in Itanagar for the convenience of visiting sportsperson and officials. He also announced a modern multi-purpose indoor stadium in the vicinity of the state capital and urged the department of sports to identify a suitable site for it.
“Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has promised a multi-purpose indoor stadium. We need to identify a suitable plot immediately and pursue with the ministry,” he said.
While wishing all participants luck and a pleasant stay in Arunachal Pradesh, the Chief Minister announced a sum of Rs 10 lakhs as an aid to the organisers for holding the championship at Itanagar.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Chairman, Sports Authority of Arunachal, Bamang Tago, officials of department of sports and youth affairs and others.