ITANAGAR- The Yonex Sunrise North East Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship, 2023 began here at the Raj Bhavan Badminton Hall today with Chief Minister Pema Khandu declaring it open.
Attending as the Chief Guest of the inaugural ceremony, Khandu expressed gratitude to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for giving Arunachal Pradesh the opportunity to host the prestigious annual calendar event of the Association.
He welcomed teams from all the eight North Eastern states and officials and expressed hope that they would not only enjoy competing against each other but also enjoy the hospitality of Arunachal Pradesh.
“I specially welcome players and officials from Manipur, who have come here despite the situation prevailing in their state. The spirit of sportsmanship should prevail over all,” he said.
Hailing North East as the sporting hub of India, Khandu appreciated the hard work put in by athletes of the region, who have won glories for the country at international events.
“When it comes to international events like Olympics, World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, etc, the entire country looks up to our athletes to come to rescue. That’s the power we yield,” he said.
He assured that next time the championship is held in Arunachal Pradesh, it will be at the sprawling 23,330 sqm 8 court Dorjee Khandu Badminton Academy at Chimpu, adjacent to the Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, which is under construction.
Incidentally, the land for the academy was donated by Khandu free of cost.
Also, he informed that 14 two-court Badminton Halls are under construction across the state. These projects have been sanctioned by the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India.
As per Arunachal State Badminton Association (ASBA) officials, the North East Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship includes Team Championships in four categories: Men, Women, Junior Boys and Junior Girls. The Individual Championships feature Men’s and Women’s events in both singles and doubles, along with Mixed Doubles. Additionally, Junior Girls and Junior Boys compete in doubles, singles, and mixed doubles.
This year over 350 delegates, including officials, are participating in the tournament. The top-seeded players from each state will showcase their skills during this 4-day competition.
Winners of this championship will secure direct entry, with an additional quota, to the senior and junior national levels.
The tournament was first held in Arunachal Pradesh in 1995.
Itanagar Mayor attended the opening ceremony as the Guest of Honour.
While Omar Rashid of BAI is the Observer, H. Gyaneswor Singh, a distinguished retired International Referee, is the Tournament Director. Viney Joshi is the Referee of the tournament.