Press Releases

Monday, January 15, 2024

Press Release No. 06/24


The President of India Smt. Droupadi Murmu officially inaugurated the 5th Meghalaya Games today at the PA Sangma Stadium in Tura, West Garo Hills in the presence of Governor of Meghalaya Phagu Chauhan, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Speaker Thomas A Sangma, Tura MP Agatha Sangma, Education Minister Rakkam Sangma, Sports and youth Affairs Minister Shakliar Warjri, PHE Minister Marcuise N. Marak, Power Minister A T Mondal among other cabinet ministers and officials from the state.

The 5th edition of the Meghalaya Games is historic for many reasons since this is the first time that it is being held in Tura, first time it is being held outside Shillong, the first time it has included traditional indigenous games, and the first time that the President of India has inaugurated it.

Addressing the athletes and officials present, President Murmu acknowledged the tremendous potential North East India has for development of sports and sportspersons citing its traditionally strong sports culture, with the tribal population of the region being good at many sports. “Diversity is the beauty of our nation and we should utilise it to further boost India's global image in sports arena. There is an urgent need to support the talent from the tribal areas and groom them to become professional sportspersons. I am happy to note that the society of North East encourages women to play and join sports as a profession. North East region has produced many great women athletes. I would also like to underline the potential of adventure sports and adventure tourism in this region and the need to explore and leverage it on priority,” she said.

She also noted that the region has produced some great sportspersons who have contributed to India's tally in prestigious international tournaments like Olympics and Commonwealth Games. She recalled that, last week, she gave Arjuna award to hockey player Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Wushu player Naorem Roshibina Devi in a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan. “Meghalaya Games will encourage athletes for excellence, promote competitiveness and create a vibrant sporting ecosystem,” President Murmu further said.

An extraordinary moment in the programme was when President Murmu once again took to the podium after finishing her official speech. Speaking in Hindi, she thanked the gathering for waiting for more than 3 hours prior to the inaugural ceremony at the stadium in the cold winter evening, with some participants without shirt. The 5th Meghalaya Games is hosting almost 3000 athletes, who will be competing in 23 disciples spread across 16 venues in Tura over the course of 6 days.

Earlier in the inaugural programme, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma called the day historic. He said the event “is not just a sports event but this is the future of our young generation and our youth and, therefore, this is not a simple event for us but it is a very meaningful and a very important event in the history of our state.”

Highlighting his government’s focus, he said, “As a state government, we have been very, very clear in our vision and in our approach to ensure that we value the greatest asset and the resource that we have, which is the youth of our state and the youth of our nation. We believe in investing in our youth, in ensuring that we channelize their energy in the right direction. We believe in giving the right opportunity to our youth. We believe that these programs, these games that we have, the different festivals that we have, these are important investments in our youth and the returns of this will be there for generations to come. And that is why, Madam, your presence has made this particular event even more meaningful.”

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