Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has offered to host the 2026 National Games, saying his state will be fully ready by then and an official proposal would be submitted to the Union Sports Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Khandu made the offer at the inaugural ceremony of the third State Olympics Games at Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA) in Itanagar on Friday and requested IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta to support the proposal which would be submitted soon.
“We would not be able to create the infrastructure needed to host the National Games by 2024. But by 2026, I assure our state will be fully ready to host it,” Khandu said, adding that the stadiums at Ziro, Pasighat and Daporijo have been completed and others at Aalo, Yupia, Tezu and SLSA would be completed soon.
The chief minister said the state will focus on improving the overall sports scenario of the state during his term. The government plans to build quality outdoor stadium in every district of the state, he added.
“The potential of our sportspersons has been proved in the recent Khelo India Games, wherein we emerged third amongst the Northeastern states and 23rd in the country. We will focus in improving the overall sports scenario of the state during this five-year term,” he said.
Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for encouraging the youth in games and sports, he said, “By allotting the Youth Affairs and Sports ministry to one of the most hardworking Central minister Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, shows the commitment of the Prime Minister in developing the sector”.
Mehta, speaking on the occasion, lauded Khandu’s commitment to improve sports in the state and said he can foresee a bright future for Arunachal Pradesh.
“I can foresee a bright future. When you have excelled despite lack of proper facilities and infrastructure, I can see no reasons for you not to excel at the international level when all facilities come up in the next few years,” he said while appreciating the chief ministers commitment to develop sports infrastructure in the state. Khandu also said, “We in the state government are committed to produce future Olympians by providing all required facilities, incentives and infrastructure”.