TURA, Dec 12: The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr. Mukul Sangma on Friday announced an ambitious initiative to promote sports which he called ‘Mission Football’ in the state. He said that the programme is aimed at honing the skills ofsports enthusiasts.
“I will throw a challenge to all other states with the programme ... we will export our players,” said the Chief Minister while speaking at theinauguration of the two-day A’we festival at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills (NGH) in presence of Resubelpara MLA and chairman, Meghalaya Planning Board, Salseng C. Marak, the Deputy Commissioner (DC), North Garo Hills (NGH), David D. Sangma, among other dignitaries.
Stating that sports is the only game which can unify people of all ages, Dr. Sangma said, “We should encourage and provide opportunities for children to engage in sporting activities.”
He told the gathering that New Delhi has recently approved a Rs 78 crore project for promotion of sports in the state.
Elaborating on ‘Mission Football’, Dr. Sangma said, “It will be like other development programmes of the government and will be implemented with a dedicated approach to enhance the skills of enthusiasts.” He also opined that promoting sports in Meghalaya will showcase the talents of the region.
Recollecting his youth, when he was a member of a sporting club, Sangma said, “The northern part of Garo Hills is known for sports loving people. Most youths are good in football. The positive aspect of the people needs to be harnessed”.
The Chief Minister was highly impressed with the festivities, which is being held across Garo Hills and urged the people to avail optimum benefit of government programmes to brand and market the region for global tourists.
“The unique and exclusive Christmas celebration of Garo Hills should be marketed and packaged for a tourist. The pleasant climate of this region will be an added advantage for international tourists. The Garo way of life should be projected to the rest of the world,” remarked the Chief Minister.
Sangma also inaugurated the industrial exhibition, which is part of the festival and multi-facility centre at Mendipathar.
The highlight of Friday’s festival was indigenous sporting activities, display of a rare Garo dance form called the Gure Rodila, marathon and the A’we beauty pageant contest. The festival also showcased a myriad array of art forms through a bonanza of cultural programmes.