KATHMANDU, May 23: A cabinet meeting on Monday has decided to recognize 'volleyball' as the national sport of Nepal. The government took the decision after the Ministry of Youth and Sports had suggested declaring volleyball as the national sport.
Three years back, the Ministry for Youth and Sports had started discussion over deciding national sport and it also had publicly asked suggestions to make the decision. Now, the ministry has said that its decision was based on the suggestions from stakeholders of the sports fratenity of Nepal.
Meanwhile football and cricket also were in the race to become the national sport but due to volleyball's easily playable nature in all terrains and country wide organization it pipped the other two popular sports.
Nepal Volleyball Association (NVA) was demanding that the government make volleyball the national sport since five years. Meanwhile, NVA has welcomed the decision of the government to choose volleyball as the national sport. “Volleyball has completed the minimum requirement to become national sport. It can be played anywhere in country, in any terrains, in a low cost. So it fully deserved to be the national sport,” said NVA's General Secretary Jitendra Bahadur Chand.
“Every sport has its own specialty and importance, but to be the national sport it has to be hugely popular and should have strong organization. In country like Nepal, these things should be taken in consideration while announcing any sport as national sport,” added Chand.
National men's volleyball team skipper Em Rana also expressed his delight over the government's decision. “Volleyball is very much popular in the country and played in every part including the Himalayan region, the hills and the tarai. So this decision makes sense,” said Rana.
National women's team skipper Manju Gurung also expressed her happiness over the decision. “Majority of the population grow up playing volleyball. It doesn't need big space for playing so we can play it everywhere. Not only players but the whole nation is happy about the government's decision of making volleyball as the national sport,” said Gurung.