Union Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, has been invited to be one of the honoured guests for the event
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Associate Vice-President, Athletics Federation of India (AFI), and President, Nagaland Athletics Association (NAA), Abu Metha said that Nagaland hosting a recognized international event such as South Asian Cross Country Championships and 56th National Cross Country in Kohima is a big step and historic not only for sports fraternity but Nagaland as a whole.
Addressing media persons on Tuesday in Kohima, Metha said this event is going to be perhaps Nagaland’s biggest sporting event in its 50 plus years of statehood and expressed optimism that this event would propel the image of Nagaland and the Nagaland’s sporting dream towards national and international platforms.
He said the event which would be flagged off at Indira Gandhi Stadium Kohima on March 26 is expected to have participants from the affiliated states and Union Territories of the country including the Railways. Metha also said it had also received confirmation of participation from all the SAARC countries and formalities were underway to clear their Visas and permits.
Metha further went on to add that Union Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, have been invited to be one of the honoured guests and have received a positive response from him.
Renowned athletic stars like former world champion, Anju Bobby George, and former Asian Champion, PT Usha, are expected to arrive Kohima before the event and interact with young sport persons from Nagaland and Northeast, Metha informed.
He also informed that the annual general meeting of the South Asian Athletic Federation (SAAF) would take place in Kohima.
On the occasion, official team Nagaland kit was also launched.
Meanwhile, the official mascot of the South Asian Cross Country Championships and 56th National Cross Country is a “joyous happy running Hornbill” and the name of the Mascot is Akimji – a connotation of the word “AMBITION” derived from Sumi dialect which exemplifies the ambition of the new generation of Naga youth.