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The Mokokchung District Badminton Association (MDBA) will be organizing its first Li Ning Northeast Invitational Badminton Tournament from 12-15 December at MDBA Stadium, Mokokchung. A first of its kind in the district, the tournament is being organized under the aegis of the Nagaland Badminton Association and Mokokchung District Sports Council in commemoration of 50 years of badminton in Nagaland.

Addressing a press conference, Convener of the Organizing Committee, Lipok Jamir, informed that the tournament was organized with a three-pronged objective which includes more competition, more popularization of the sport, and garnering insights from accomplished badminton players from the Northeast region on establishing a badminton academy in Mokokchung.

The Convener further informed that the tournament has also been organized as part of the MDBA Vision 2040 which is to produce an Olympian from the district by 2040 in the field of badminton.

Mokokchung badminton
Officials of Mokokchung District Badminton Association after addressing a press conference at MDBA Badminton Stadium, Mokokchung, 1 December. (MTNews Photo)

The tournament will be played across six doubles categories, including Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Men’s 75+ Doubles, Men’s 85+ Doubles, Men’s 95+ Doubles, Men’s 105+ Doubles.
While the total prize pool amounts to Rs 4 lakhs, an additional ‘match winner’s purse’ has been set aside for each match whereby cash prizes will be given to each winner in every match of the tournament. It was also informed each category should have a minimum of six participants, without which that particular category will be forfeited.

The registration fee is one thousand per person per event. Interested individuals can contact 9862105513 or 8974182739.

MDBA general secretary Dr Sashi, tournament co-convener Tiapokba, MDBA vice president and tournament chief referee Imomar, and tournament technical convener Er Philip were also present at the press conference.

Invitation to the tournament was extended through the NBA and players from Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura have already confirmed their participation. Players from Arunachal Pradesh are expected to participate while those from Meghalaya and Tripura are yet to be confirmed.

Interestingly, it was revealed that players from Bhutan were also interested to participate in the tournament but had to be denied on technical grounds. The organizers also regretted that more categories of competition could not be incorporated due to time and financial constraints.

The organizers have extended gratitude to the 12 Assam Rifles, Mokokchung for renovating the badminton stadium as well as the Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner for their support. The organizers are also going to repair the road leading to the stadium in association with the neighborhood residents and the PWD.

Mokokchung in pursuit of producing an Olympian by 2040

The Mokokchung District Badminton Association (MDBA) adopted its Vision 2040 in the wake of the Mokokchung town quasquicentennial year celebration in 2015 – the goal is to produce an Olympian from Mokokchung in the field of badminton.

The MDBA was affiliated to the Nagaland Badminton Association in the year 1986, which is also considered as the official year of its establishment. Since then, over the years, MDBA has evolved into one of the strongest badminton associations in Nagaland with over 600 members.

Apart from its regular calendar of events, the MDBA has been going the extra mile to promote the game of badminton in Mokokchung, and Nagaland by extension. Their latest major initiative is the Vision 2040 goal, with the objective of nurturing an Olympian by 2040. To achieve this, the association is organizing an invitational tournament, aiming to gather insights from experienced figures in the northeast badminton community.

The primary objective of organizing the tournament is to invite seasoned and senior personalities in the field of badminton from the northeast region and garner insights from them on how to run a badminton academy in Mokokchung. The MDBA is determined to launch its academy by next year which, if successful, will be only the second badminton academy in the state of Nagaland.

When asked if the MDBA was in touch with the state government on the matter, it was stated that they will have to get the support of the government in the process if the academy has to succeed.

On the importance of having an academy in Mokokchung, it was mentioned that the MDBA has so far succeeded in producing champions at the state level but these state champions struggle at the regional and national levels. “We have realized that unless and until we have an academy, we will not be able to achieve our goal,” said the tournament convener. He also said that badminton is the game that “best suits us Nagas” and took motivation from the fact that Mokokchung has in the past produced international champions to aspire for the Olympic dream.

The MDBA has a well laid out action plan for achieving its Olympic goal, has a sincere and dedicated team, has the focus and enthusiasm to realize the vision, and the will to persevere.

Mokokchung Times

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