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Nagaland in need of changing narrative towards sports

Winners in different categories posing for lens at the Li-Ning 45th Nagaland State Masters Open Badminton Championship 2023

Abu Metha, the Secretary General, Nagaland Olympics Association (NOA) attended the the closing grand finale of the Li-Ning’s 45th Nagaland Masters Open Badminton Championship 2023, coinciding with the celebration of the “Golden Jubilee” of the Nagaland Badminton Association (NBA).

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Advisor to Nagaland’s chief minister, chairman IDAN, associate vice-president, Athletics Federation of India (AFI), and the secretary general, Nagaland Olympics Association (NOA), Abu Metha, on November 11 voiced his concern with regard to sports stating that Nagaland state needs to change its narrative towards sports.
Abu Metha was speaking to the players and officials and other attendees at the closing grand finale of the Li-Ning’s 45th Nagaland Masters Open Badminton Championship 2023, coinciding and commemorating the celebration of the “Golden Jubilee” of the Nagaland Badminton Association (NBA) held at the DBC Indoor Stadium, Nagarjan, Dimapur.
He said that Nagaland government along with the Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA), Kohima, are making all efforts to write new narratives. He said there was a need to create “champions” from the state.
Metha stated that Nagaland has the potential and scope and added that an investment of human resources is a must besides having best coaches, trainers, and including physiotherapists, and other support staffs.
He also extended his appreciation to all sections of the Naga society especially to the sport fraternity to conclave together and to work as one.
In his presidential address, Kesonyu Yhome (IAS), commissioner and secretary to Nagaland chief minister said that the Nagaland Badminton Association (NBA) is commemorating its 50th anniversary. He as the NBA crosses huge milestone, it also stands at a “crucial juncture” to revisit its efforts and dig deep to see if it has done justice to the opportunity given to it in steering the affairs of the sport.
Over the years, few individuals have put in selfless efforts to take the NBA and the game of badminton to where it stands today, Yhome lamented that most of the players have been rather casual in their approach as according to him the “business” as usual approach would not quite fetch any individual “points” to take everyone any further for which he suggested for an “open mind” and also to welcome all genuine suggestions and inputs from those who love and understand the game.
He went on to add that in order to understand the basic challenges, the NBA has been pursuing two critical components with the Nagaland state government with regard to infrastructure facilities and career opportunities for athletes where its was learnt that some “baby steps” have been taken but according to him there is lot of ground to cover and while assuring that the NBA would continue to take the ventures to their logical conclusion.
Reminding that the 45th inter district and state open championship was held in the summer this year in Kohima, Kesonyu said the association consciously decided to segregate the “Masters Open” unlike earlier years in order to give dedicated focus importance to the young talents in the State who could potentially go on in representing the state as well as the country while also adding that NBA’s priority is always to “scout” and groom talents especially those players in the age groups of the under nine, eleven, and thirteen categories and the priorities not to “waver”.
On the other hand, the NBA president and bureaucrat, Kesonyu Yhome, disclosed that the Master’s category is now a recognized format at all levels and therefore it is important that the association continue to promote the very particular sport (badminton) at all levels and for all ages while stating that it is the veterans who bear the guiding torch and light the path for all young talents to sail through.
Mentioning that it is important that the sport is “marketed” for all ages in order to cultivate a “vibrant culture” of badminton in particular and other sporting disciplines in particular in the present Naga society, Kesonyu further stated that single’s category has been introduced this year so that “stars of yesteryears” could get an opportunity to polish their skills, improvise their fitness and potentiality to go on in participating in major events both at the national and international levels in “earning” a name or two for the state.
A journey in Badminton in the state was shared by the first NIS badminton coach, Atu Pongener, while the NBA Golden Jubilee Coffee Table Book was also released as part of the grand finale of the said badminton championship.

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