In an effort to preserve Naga wrestling, an indigenous wrestling sport, students from Nagaland took part in the 1st Bienniel Intercollegiate Naga Wrestling Competition hosted by Sazolie College at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima on Friday.
29 wrestlers from 13 colleges competed in the one-day sporting event. At the inaugural ceremony, the principal of Sazolie College Kohima, Dr. Kangzangding Thou remember how about three years ago the idea was formed to hold the Naga wrestling event. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was not held until this year when restrictions were lifted.
The purpose of the event, he said, was to promote the native sport of Naga among students of various colleges, as the sporting event can be a good opportunity for the students to learn and compete in the grappling game.
He emphasized how educational institutions can largely contribute to the promotion and preservation of Naga culture, and said that indigenous sports such as Naga wrestling can be used as a source of knowledge for tradition, arts and crafts.
Technical Education and Elections Adviser Medo Yhokha, who was the special guest at the event, said wrestling is a sporting event that has evolved over the years.
While professional wrestlers attended the collegiate wrestling meeting, Yhokha said the presence of the reinforced wrestlers will motivate the student wrestlers to pursue the game.
The legislator also said the sporting event has the potential to reflect the culture of the Nagas while promoting indigenous sports.
Addressing the student meeting, he encouraged them to explore different career options in accordance with the current social situation, rather than relying solely on government jobs for livelihood and create their own opportunities instead.
As he continues to advocate for the dignity of work, he pointed to the need to harness the resources and capabilities of the Naga youth and the need to further assist them to achieve the best.
He revealed that the government is designing various policies and programs for athletes and has plans to build more sports infrastructure in the state.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Kedosie Nagi of Sazolie College Kohima emerged as the champion of the intercollegiate wrestling match.
Kedosie defeated Azhalhou Kire of Alder College in the final match. Rokoviso Sechü from Baptist College took the third position while Avituo Nagi from Sazolie College took the fourth position.
While the winner walked away with a cash prize of Rs 30,000, the other winners won Rs 20,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.
At the awards ceremony later in the day, guest of honor Dr. Hiabe Zeliang, who praised the initiative, that as Naga wrestlers, they have the potential to compete in national and international wrestling events if they commit.
While encouraging players to be disciplined and hard-working, he also emphasized the need to maintain consistency and balance, both in training and in their lifestyle, which are determinants of an athlete’s success.
Also read: A decade later, Nagaland’s Rs 26-cr mega water supply project is still incomplete