Shillong, Apr 22: The fourth edition of the Meghalaya Games will be held on 2nd to 6th May, it was announced today by the Meghalaya State Olympic Association.
This edition will be the biggest yet, bringing together more than 2,600 athletes across 19 disciplines. There were around 1,500 sportspersons in 14 disciplines last time, in 2020.
The Meghalaya Games are the showcase sporting event in the state and the MSOA expressed its thanks to the state government, which is contributing Rs 2.23 crore to hosting it.
“We thank the Meghalaya government for supporting the Games so that the young athletes will benefit and help us produce champions in the future at the national and international level,” MSOA Working President John F Kharshiing told the press today.
He added that it was a pathbreaking decision of the current government to bring back the mega-event in 2020, some 16 years since the Games were held.
“We must bear in mind that this year’s Games will be held in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted the lives of our athletes. We are seeing so much enthusiasm from all districts to participate and the Games will only get bigger over time as the state government has committed to holding them on a regular basis,” Kharshiing stated.
In 2020, the third edition was largely focused on the JN Sports Complex. This year, with extensive renovations going on there, most events will be held at the Sports Authority of India complex one the North-Eastern Hill University campus, which will also hold the closing ceremony.
It was also announced by Bor Diengdoh, the MSOA Vice-President, that the opening ceremony will be held at the Shillong Sports Association Stadium at First Ground, Polo. This will be on 3rd May, with only a few events being held on the day prior due to logistical reasons.
Meanwhile, MSOA General Secretary Finely Pariat said that, previously, the various state associations would hold standalone championships in their particular discipline, but the Meghalaya Games will act as a selection ground for the state’s athletes who will be chosen for national tournaments.
Other states in the North East, such as Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, already have statewide sporting events like these and they have been helpful in grooming talent and developing athletes’ skills, he added.