Meghalaya State animal clouded leopard is chosen to be the mascot for the National Games 2022, which coincide with the 50th year of the creation of the State. The decision was taken at the first National Games 2022 executive committee meeting, chaired by Meghalaya Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdon.
Clouded leopard is a wild cats living throughout the forests of Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
Lyngdoh said a competition will be conducted by the Information and Public Relations Department along with the Education Department to finalise the Logo and the Theme of the National Games. The competition will be open to all.
“The (executive committee) members agreed that the clouded leopard will be the mascot for the National Games. A competition to design a smiling clouded leopard will be open to all,” said Lyngdoh. A Sub-Committees will be formed headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Games Secretariat to submit a report to the National Games Organising Committee to finalise the number of sporting events, venues and sports infrastructure, adds Lyngdoh.
Lyngdoh informed the members that the main stadium will be funded by the Ministry of Social Justice. The stadium will be constructed over approximately 50 acres in Mawdiangdiang. The meeting also agreed that 64.34 acres of land will be acquired from the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority to construct the Games Village, revealed the State Sports Minister.
A total of approximately 114.34 acres of land has been identified for critical infrastructure for the national games. “The Master Plan will be compiled by the Director Sports and Youth Affairs department and submitted to the Chairman of National Games Organising Committee who is also the Chief Minister (Conrad Sangma) in the first week of May,” the sports minister said.
Meghalaya police chief R Chandranathan agreed to talent spotting in the police department and decided to give incentives to sportspersons. “A policy to implement the same will be drafted by the police department. The National Informatics Centre along with state’s information and technology department will develop a website for the National Games,” Lyngdoh said.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed Peter S Dkhar as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Games Secretariat. Meghalaya will be the third northeastern state after Manipur and Assam hosted the National Games in 1999 and 2007, respectively.
It had co-hosted the 2016 South Asian Games with its neighbour Assam. An estimated 14,450 athletes and officials are expected to visit Meghalaya during the Games.