Official schedules for 8th National Games remains unannounced

Published On: March 19, 2019 10:06 AM NPT By: Kamal Khatri

NEPALGUNJ, March 19: The official schedules for forthcoming 8th National Games are still undecided despite the inauguration of media center and release of official ‘jingle’ at Nepalgunj sports stadium on Monday. The major sports event of the country has already been postponed twice.

The National Sports Council (NSC) has been insisting to host it by the end of March or first week of April without announcing official dates for the marquee sports event. 

Meanwhile, the construction works at Nepalgunj stadium are yet to be completed. 

The event was postponed from November 2018 to January 2019, which was further postponed to March. Keshav Kumar Bista, the member-secretary of NSC, remained silent on the issue and assured that the council was working on the schedules.

Mamta Thapa, former vice-captain of national women’s cricket team, stated that uncertainty regarding the event was causing her mental stress. “We featured in provincial matches. But we don’t know who is going to be selected and when is that going to happen. It takes time to arrange all the things. Participating in a national event is not an overnight thing,” said Thapa. 

A coach with NSC, on condition of anonymity, told Republica that the national games has become more a matter of personal gains and vested interests for the concerned officials rather than development of sports in the country. 

“People are looking for personal benefits. A huge amount of budget is allocated to host the national games. But we never get suitable facilities or infrastructure. Even the scheduling of events is not done on time.”

Senior board member of NSC and former president of Nepal Volleyball Association (NVA), Ganga Bahadur Thapa, expressed his concerns about health and mental stress of players preparing for the games due to continuous postponements. 

“All the players want to do is win the gold medal, but if they don’t know when and how to prepare for the matches, they go into mental stress. I don’t think we should expect them to participate and win medals without proper preparations.”

A total of Rs 260 million has already been spent for the preparation of the games, according to Bista. A board meeting on Friday is set to decide the new dates for the games. “We know that temperature rises in late March but the council will try its best to accommodate the new schedules and timing for smooth conduction of matches.”

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