Khelo India Centre for Hockey inaugurated in Jakhama

Advisor Zale Neikha with students and others during the inauguration of Khelo India Centre for Hockey at Loyola Higher Secondary School, Jakhama on March 31.

Kohima, March 31 (MExN): Advisor for Youth Resources and Sports, Zale Neikha inaugurated the Khelo India Centre (KIC) for Hockey at Loyola Higher Secondary School, Jakhama on March 31. 

“This is the only school in the entire Nagaland which has a proper Hockey ground and the students have been representing the State at various levels of competitions, including National and International events,” an update received here stated. The Physical Teacher of Loyala School, Walter D’souza first introduced Hockey to its students and after undergoing NIS training became a full time Coach. Thereby, Hockey as a sports discipline was set up in Nagaland in the early 1980s, it stated. 

Addressing the inaugural function, Advisor Neikha said in order to promote sports and tap budding sportspersons, the present United Democratic Alliance Government in the State is initiating policy reforms and emphasising on development of sports infrastructure. “Sports as a discipline has a lot to offer in this present era and it has rightly been remarked as ‘A multi-million industry’,” he said.

Neikha expressed gratitude to Loyola School for being the pioneer of Hockey and tactfully bringing the game this far in the state. As requested by the Principal of the Loyola HSS Rev Fr William Pinto to help in laying astro-turf at the only hockey ground in the State, the Advisor said that he would take it up on priority at the government level.

It is worthwhile to mention that, in the past, under the sponsorship of the Youth Resources & Sports Department, Loyola Boys represented the state and participated at the Nehru Hockey Cup and many students have also availed scholarships and participated at National Games and International level.

Elaborating on KICs, he said the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports introduced the scheme of KIC at the district level on June 29, 2020, with a vision to infuse sports culture and achieve sporting excellence in the country and thereby nurture and tap young talented sports persons at the grassroots and also provide effective sports training opportunities, the Advisor said.

The Ministry has identified 14 sports disciplines for excellence in Olympics such as Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Badminton, Cycling, Fencing, Hockey, Judo, Rowing, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Football and Traditional sports, he said.

Under the KIC Scheme, each centre will be extended with grant-in-aid for remuneration of past champion athlete (Coach), Support staff, purchase of sport kits and equipment and participation in competitions and events. Along with the rest of the country, Nagaland is on a mission to establish and develop 19 KICs while the Department is taking up for the opening of eight new KICs for the newly created four districts, the Advisor said.

Hockey in Nagaland has a very bright future, but now when we look at the present situation there are many things which need to be done and the inauguration of KIC will be the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Hockey in Nagaland, Neikha added.

The Advisor also unveiled the KIC Hockey plaque and witnessed an exhibition match.

Kohima Deputy Commissioner Gregory Thejawelie Sote, an alumnus of the school, said Loyola HSS has been the cradle of Hockey in the State and encouraged them to continue the efforts in promoting the game and participating in higher level of competitions. Sports, he said, is not only for leisure but also is immensely important for maintaining good health. He also encouraged sportspersons to follow strict dedication and devote time in order to excel.

Parish Priest Jakhama Rev Fr Cyprian Lobo offered the invocation while Headmistress Sr Regita Mary AC delivered the welcome address. Special numbers by the school students enthralled the gathering.