Chief Minister, Shri Conrad K Sangma today felicitated the 188 medal winners and 54 coaches of the 2nd North East Olympic Games (NEOG) 2022 and also launched the Sports Scholarship Scheme at a programme held today at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong organised by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister congratulated and thanked all the athletes who secured medals at the recently concluded 2nd NEOG and said that the felicitation programme is the celebration of the achievements of the athletes who had brought laurels not just to their family but to the state as a whole. He also lauded the coaches and the sports association’s members for their hard work, dedication and assistance to the athletes.
While stressing that youth is the state’s greater strength with a population of 12 lakh in the age group of 12-30 years, it is the duty of the government to channelize the energy of the youth in various capacities so as to deter them from using their energy in destructive manners, he said. He also highlighted the various youth friendly programmes initiated by the government such as Meghalaya Grassroots Music Programme, Aspire Programme and others.
He also stressed on the need for the state to invest in sports infrastructure and build international standard arenas in order to push the athletes to greater heights. While informing that the refurbished J N Sports Indoor Stadium and P A Sangma Indoor Stadium will come up soon, he hoped that the athletes will be getting better platforms and opportunities to bring more laurels to the state and country in national and international competitions.
The Chief Minister during the programme also launched the Sports Scholarship Scheme wherein a monthly scholarship will be given to athletes who secure a medal at regional or national competitions, apart from the one-time cash award; the idea of this scheme is to support the athletes and to invest in their different sporting needs. The NEOG athletes will be the first beneficiaries of this scheme.
The programme was also attended by Dr Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner & Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Shri S Awasthi, Director, Sports and Youth Affairs, Shri John F Kharshiing, Working President, MSOA among others.