Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwar Pokharel (file photo)
KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwar Pokharel has said that 13th South Asian Games (SAG) is also about fostering friendship and unity among the SAARC-member nations.
Speaking on the inaugural session of the 13th SAG held in Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu this evening, DPM Pokharel reiterated that the mega regional sport was not only about competition among the players and winning the medals.
Stating that the incumbent government had accorded the highest priority to make the event Nepal was hosting for the third time a grand success, Pokharel shared that the government had paid a special attention to the development of physical infrastructures.
During the 10-day event, 26 different sports’ disciplines would be organized in 30 different venues in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur. On the occasion, the Main Organizing Committee Chairperson, and Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwakarma, National Sports Council member-secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal and Nepal Olympic Committee President Jivan Ram Shrestha had briefed the DPM about the overall progress of the 13th SAG games, its importance and preparations.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari had inaugurated the 13th SAG amid fanfare in presence of the Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal among other dignitaries. Also in attendance during the inaugural session were the 13th SAG guests including technical delegates from various countries, tournament directors, judges, national referees, technical assistants, media persons and sports lovers from several countries including the host country.
During the inaugural, a troupe of 7, 500 artists and students had performed, including the traditional Lakhe dance, in the stadium decked with light, flowers, frills and flags. Moreover, the players from the SAARC-member nations had march-past in the inaugural while the troupe of artistes from Nepal had formed the human national flag and Nepal’s map.
Furthermore, fireworks were also cracked in the event eliciting he cheers and applause of spectators from the jam-packed 30,000-capacity-stadium. During the event, the mascot of the 13th SAG- Krishnasar (Blackbuck Antelope)-was also displayed in the inaugural while the SAG’s torch was brought to the stadium after it was toured in all seven states in the country.