April 25, 2019 12:34 PM NPT
By: DHAN BASNET
POKHARA, April 25: Gandaki Province is set to host the Ninth National Games after a hiatus of 37 years. It had hosted the second edition of the games back in 1982. National games will complete its 40 years during the event in Gandaki.
The host was confirmed during the seventh national games held in Biratnagar two years ago. The official flag was handed over to Gandaki’s Western Region Sports Development Committee on Wednesday.
The ninth edition of the nation’s biggest sports event is scheduled for March 4 to 11 in 2021.
President of the Western Region Sports Development Committee, Sampanna Shrestha, said he was confident of the ability of the province to host the games. He said that with some modification at Pokhara Stadium, everything will be in place.
“We are going to host the ninth national games. We will need some further constructions to improve infrastructure for swimming pool and shooting range. Other sports venues are almost in ready condition to host matches.”
He further added: “Badminton court, tennis court, and multi-purpose covered hall need slight improvisations. We will need to build pavilions for cricket ground. Badminton court, taekwondo hall, and office spaces are in ready condition. The construction company has already started work on football ground and running tracks.”
Likewise, president of Kaski District Sports Development Committee, Prakash Baral, was confident that the national games would establish Pokhara as a ‘Sports City’.
“Pokhara is a city of sports. The infrastructure to be built and organization of national games will help establish Pokhara as a city of sports tourism. We have two years in hand, and we will make it the biggest sporting event of Nepal till date.”
The newly formed province of Gandaki comprises of 11 districts. They have won 13 gold medals in the Eighth National Games participating in 35 events. Gandaki won 2 golds in squash, 4 in full contact karate, 2 in shooting, 2 in paragliding, 1 in karate, 1 in taekwondo and 1 in handball.
Similarly, the future host province has won 21 sliver and 44 bronze medals in completed national games. Gandaki’s best performance came during sixth national games winning 27 gold medals held in Dhangadhi.
The president of National and International Players Association Kaski, Deepak Bahadur Godar is expecting Gandaki to repeat the performances of sixth edition during the ninth held in home facilities and crowd. “We need to prepare diligently and collectively towards making it our most successful national event.” “The district and region sports bodies will have to give extra attention to events where gold medals are a possibility.”