Meghalaya Games 2024 inaugurated with grandeur in Tura
National, January 17, 2024: In a splendid ceremony held at the PA Sangma Stadium, the Meghalaya Games 2024 was inaugurated today in Tura, Meghalaya, marking the commencement of the State’s marquee multisport event. Her Excellency, Smt Droupadi Murmu, Hon’ble President of India, graced the occasion with her presence and officially inaugurated the Games, emphasizing the importance of sports in fostering unity and excellence among the youth.
The event witnessed the esteemed presence of dignitaries including the Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya Shri Phagu Chauhan, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K Sangma, Hon’ble Sports Minister Shri Shakliar Warjri, Shri Agatha K Sangma, Hon’ble Member of Parliament of Tura, and other prominent leaders of the state.
In her inaugural address, the Hon’ble President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu remarked, “Johar, Namaskar! I am delighted to address the inauguration ceremony of the multi-sport event, Meghalaya Games. I am happy to note that this Opening Ceremony of the Meghalaya Games is being held in the PA Sangma Football Stadium, country’s largest pre-engineered composite football stadium. I pay my homage to Late Shri PA Sangma, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya, and the former Speaker of Lok Sabha. Shri Sangma was the first tribal speaker of the Lok Sabha and also the first speaker from Northeast. 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 Northeast encourages women to play and join sports as a profession. I am confident that the Meghalaya Games will encourage athletes for excellence, promote competitiveness and create a vibrant sporting ecosystem.”
The President of India, then lauded the performers at the opening ceremony, stating, “My sincere and heartfelt wishes for the performers of Garo, Khasi, & Jaintia tribes, who braved the cold, and some stood bare bodied in their traditional attire for three to four hours waiting. It shows the great sportsman spirit.”
Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Conrad K Sangma, thanked the Hon’ble President for her esteemed presence. Hon’ble Chief Minister said, “It is my honour to welcome in our midst, the Smt Droupadi Murmu, Hon’ble President of India, on her maiden visit to Meghalaya. These games are not just an event but investment in the most important asset of the state of Meghalaya- the youth of Meghalaya. The returns on this investment will be there for the generations to come. Creating opportunities for them to excel in sports and other fields of human achievement is the single most priority of our government. We are in the process of building new sports infrastructures at every level. We have ensured that the youth channelise their potential in the right direction. The presence of Hon’ble President of India will remain as a historic moment in the history of this beautiful state of Meghalaya. I once again thank all the members across different committees who are working tirelessly to make the Meghalaya Games successful.”
Meghalaya Games, reinstated in 2021-22 after a hiatus of 16 years, are a testament to the government’s commitment to promoting competitive excellence in the state’s sporting ecosystem. A prime focus of the Meghalaya Games is to not only revive but also highlight the traditional sports of the state. Thereby, participants across all the districts of Meghalaya will take part in the three traditional games, namely Mawpoin (A Khasi traditional game, where two teams try to raise a pyramid of stones and get all the opposing team members ‘out’), Rah Mukhrah (A Jaintia traditional Game where the competitors carry a raw heavy rounded rock to the finishing line achieving the title of ‘KI MAR’) and Wa’pong Sika (A Garo traditional game, where two teams compete to push a bamboo pole towards the opponent’s goal post.).
Hon’ble Sports Minister of Meghalaya Shri Shakliar Warjri stated, “It is with profound pride and unwavering enthusiasm that I stand before you today, not only as your Sports Minister, but as a fellow enthusiast of the sporting spirit. I am delighted to witness the commencement of the 5th Meghalaya Games, a vibrant tapestry woven from the tireless efforts of departments, volunteers, and young athletes, is truly an inspiration. The emblem of this event, the Hill Mynah, aptly reflects the spirit of Meghalaya. Its wings, emblazoned with the Olympic flame and the colours of our diverse tribes, symbolize not only aspiration but also unity.”
The 5th Edition of the Meghalaya Games, to be held till January 20, 2024, in Tura, promises to be the largest gathering of athletes yet, with over 3000 participants competing across 22 sporting disciplines. This includes two demonstration sports, Sport Climbing, and Softball. The organisation of the inaugural ceremony of the PA Sangma Stadium also symbolizes the pace of development in the state, with this engineering marvel being completed at such a less time.
The Meghalaya Games 2024, with its grand inauguration, set the stage for a week-long celebration of athleticism, culture, and camaraderie, leaving an indelible mark on Meghalaya’s sporting legacy.