Kohima: Nagaland Athletics Association (NAA) will be hosting 56th National Cross Country Championship under the auspices of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) in Kohima, probably by January next year.
Addressing a press conference here today at The Heritage, Abu Metha president NAA and associate vice president AFI said that Nagaland will be hosting this first ever national event as far as athletics is concerned.
He informed that the national executive meeting of the AFI was held at Rajasthan recently and agreed to let Nagaland host the 56th Cross Country Championships, probably by 15 January, 2022.
Metha, who is also advisor to chief minister of Nagaland, informed that a team of technical officials of AFI will be visiting Nagaland very soon and Nagaland team of technical officials will have an interaction session with them to formulate a game plan, route and then the event will be finalized.
In the last Cross Country Championships, 500 plus athletes participated.
“We aspect affiliated associations from all over the country, top athletes who are representing India in the international event to come and participate here,” said Metha.
We are hopeful that such numbers will come and participate in Nagaland, said Metha.
“We are also working on a plan where we will have maximum participation from Nagaland and the neighboring Northeast states,” Metha said.
He said that the AFI view that there is a tremendous amount of potential talents in the Northeastern states. However, due to poor resources, lack of infrastructure and support system, the athletes from Northeast states have not done well compared to other parts of the country.
AFI is keen to promote the athletes in Northeast and that aspiration will be kick started from hosting national cross country championships in Nagaland, said Metha.
He also appreciated the Nagaland Olympic Association under the chairmanship of Chief Minister of Nagaland for positively supporting NAA and also the Department of Youth Resources & Sports.
He said the Championships will be a collaborative event between the AFI, NAA and state government to conduct in a successful manner. He called upon all sports persons, sports fraternity of the state, the state government to come forward and make an event a success.
He informed that as a follow up to the upcoming event, the NAA will be holding various cross country events in different districts of the state, for school children, college students and athletes.
The district events will kick off in later part of October to November and by December state level event will be held.
After completing the state level event, the Nagaland team will be selected and an intensive coaching camp will be given, so that they can participate in the national event.
“Athletes who win in this championship will represent India and International events,” he said.
Metha informed that the year 2022 will have a number of important athletic international events including commonwealth game, Asian game, world championship of athletics and World under 23 championship.