The PA Sangma Stadium in Tura recently bore witness to a historic event as President Droupadi Murmu officially inaugurated the 5th Meghalaya Games. The ceremony, graced by dignitaries such as Governor Phagu Chauhan and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, unfolded as a celebration of the rich cultural tapestry and sports heritage of the North East.
This edition of the Meghalaya Games marked a departure from tradition, shifting its venue from Shillong to Tura. The inclusion of traditional indigenous games lent a unique flavor to the sporting extravaganza, accentuated by the inaugural presence of the President of India.
President Murmu, in her address to athletes and officials, underscored the untapped potential of North East India in sports development. Recognizing the region’s robust sports culture, she emphasized the need to support talent from tribal areas, urging them to pursue sports professionally. The President lauded the North East for championing women in sports and highlighted the region’s untapped potential in adventure sports and tourism.
Acknowledging the significant contributions of North East sportspersons to India’s international standing, President Murmu recently honored hockey player Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Wushu player Naorem Roshibina Devi with the prestigious Arjuna award at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Expressing optimism, President Murmu stated, “Meghalaya Games will encourage athletes for excellence, promote competitiveness, and create a vibrant sporting ecosystem.”
A poignant moment unfolded when, after her official speech, the President expressed gratitude to the audience for their patience, enduring the cold winter evening for over three hours—an embodiment of their dedication to the event.
The 5th Meghalaya Games is hosting nearly 3000 athletes participating in 23 disciplines across 16 venues in Tura over a six-day period. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, in his address, described the day as historic, emphasizing the event’s significance in shaping the future of the state’s young generation.
The Chief Minister reaffirmed his government’s commitment to investing in youth, channelizing their energy positively, and providing opportunities for growth. He portrayed the Meghalaya Games not merely as a sports event but as an investment in the state’s youth, culture, and unity.
The inaugural program featured a warm welcome to President Murmu by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s wife, Mehtab Sangma, who presented her with a thoughtful assortment of gifts, including games’ souvenirs, dakmanda, Ryndia, and a handmade Mulberry Silk Saree crafted by Garo hills artisans. This gesture symbolized the fusion of tradition, sportsmanship, and artistry, encapsulating the essence of the Meghalaya Games—an event poised to etch its name in the annals of the region’s history.