Guwahati: As anticipation builds for the upcoming Khelo India University Games 2023, Arjuna Awardee and Commonwealth gold medallist Nayanmoni Saikia has hailed the event a great platform for aspiring youth in their sporting journey.
Birmingham CWG lawn bowls gold medallist Saikia, who hails from Golakhat District in Assam’s Sarupathar, emphasises the significant impact of platforms like Khelo India University Games in shaping the futures of young athletes. “Khelo India University Games provides an invaluable platform for every aspiring youth to prosper and advance in their sporting journey,” says Saikia, who has scripted a triumphant transition from weightlifting to Lawn Bowls. “As an athlete who has witnessed firsthand the impact of such initiatives, I wholeheartedly wish all the participants the very best for the games.”
Reflecting on Assam’s proud sporting heritage and the significance of hosting the Games in the state, Saikia remarks, “Seeing the Games hosted in Assam fills me with immense pride. It’s a testament to our state’s growing prominence in the sporting arena and an opportunity for our talented athletes to shine on the national stage.”
Saika’s journey from overcoming an injury to clinching gold at the Commonwealth Games 2022 exemplifies the spirit of resilience and determination that defines athletes from the region. “Lawn Bowls wasn’t particularly prominent in Assam until the hosting of the 2007 National Games, which provided a significant platform for the sport to gain recognition within our state.”
Sharing more about her support from SAI, Saikia adds, “As a former weightlifting athlete, I underwent extensive rehabilitation and training under the guidance of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Assam. Despite encountering a back injury in 2007, I persisted and waited until 2008 to embark on my journey in Lawn Bowls. With the invaluable support and resources provided by SAI, I was able to overcome my injury and prepare diligently for my inaugural participation in the sport.”
Reflecting on the transformative impact of sporting events like the Khelo India University Games, Saikia emphasises, “The participation of accomplished athletes like Lovlina Borgohain from Assam, emphasises the state’s vital contribution to India’s sporting landscape. Events like these provide a platform for talent to flourish and garner the recognition it deserves.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming edition of the Khelo India University Games, Saikia expresses her excitement and commitment to supporting the athletes, particularly those representing Assam. “I am eagerly looking forward to cheering for Assam’s athletes and inspiring the next generation of sporting talent alongside them.”