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The saga of 'National Games' in Nepal

2022 Oct 14, 12:58, Kathmandu

In 1982, the first National Games were organized in Nepal. Before that, competition of football, volleyball and other sports were organized but national sports were not organized including all sports events. So, the first National Games played an important role in bringing sports revolution in Nepal.

When the first national sports were organized, there were very limited media in Nepal, such as Gorkhapatra, the oldest newspaper in Nepal, and Radio Nepal, which was the only radio in Nepal at that time. They at the time broadcast live opening and closing ceremonies of the first national sports as well as the football finals.

At the time, I was studying journalism at the Inter Intermediate level in Ratna Rajya Lakshmi Campus. Some students who were studying in journalism, we wanted to get the special marks of the first national sports. For this, the campus administration had provided the necessary paper for the magazine and arranged to print it from the litho machine in the college. Similarly, the National Sports Council, the organizer of the first National Games, easily provided press passes to the student journalists. At that time, the then King Birendra was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony held at Dasharath Stadium.

At that time a mass calisthenics was organized in which thousands of students participated. I still remember the Khukuri dance performed by the Nepalese Army. At that time, a sports song composed by late Gopal Yonjan was presented.

As in major sports competitions like Olympics and Asian Games, the first National Games introduced the march of athletes and officials, which was a first for Nepal.

In the first National Games, more than 2000 players from 14 zones competed in 16 different games. The distribution of medals was also done according to international norms.

At that time, the National Sports Council had set up a media center where the latest information on sports, as well as the status of medals and old game records, was also made available.

We used to go to the media center from morning till night to get information about games details. Similarly, we went to Dasharath Stadium as well as Tundikhel, Nepal Army and Nepal Police to get information about sports activities.

During the first national games players from all 14 Zone in Nepal were represented in the tournament. Gopal Basnet, who was working in the Sports Publicity Department at that time, informed that the Referees and technical officials were brought from India to conduct the game. Veteran sports photojournalist Shyam Chitrakar says that the grandeur of the opening ceremony of the first National Games was highly commendable.

Nepal managed to organize the first South Asian Games in 1984, just 2 years after the first National Games. After 2 years in 1986, Nepal managed to get 8 bronze medals for the first time in the 10th Asian Games held in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

In this way, the first National Sports played a great role in creating a sports environment in Nepal as well as increasing the necessary infrastructure for sports.

After this, foreign training also increased and it helped to increase the number of international medals. After 1982, the National Games, which were held every two years, was held only after 9 years after the 1990 movement. After the change of government, the leadership of the players also started to change. Sports Council created a recruitment center for redundant staff. But the national sports could not continue. The ninth national sports event is being held even in the year 2022.

National Games is an opportunity for Nepalese athletes to show their talent. It should be continued. There is no politicization involved. Fair competition in sports is the need of the day.


national games Gorkhapatra football Volleyball Radio Nepal Dasharath Stadium King Birendra Gopal Yonjan Olympics National Sports Council Gopal Basnet South Asian Games National Sports
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