POKHARA: The 13th edition of South Asian Games (SAG) which was officially inaugurated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in Kathmandu on Sunday was inaugurated amid fanfare in Pokhara today.
Pokhara is one of the three venues (Kathmandu and Janakpur) where 8 out of 26 sports disciplines of the 13th SAG is taking place from December 1 to 10.
Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung inaugurated the event in Pokhara Stadium in the presence of the concerned government authorities, 13th SAG’s guests including players, officials, spectators and media persons.
Pokhara will be venues for games such as women cricket, football, beach volleyball, triathlon, badminton, weight lifting, handball, and archery.
More than 800 players from SAARC-member nations and around 200 officials have attended the inaugural.
Furthermore, tournament directors, referees, judges, technical assistants, sports lovers and media persons arriving from different countries were also present in the inaugural.
CM Gurung, on the occasion, said that Pokhara, being one of the venues of 13th SAG, would contribute significantly to the promotion of tourism of Pokhara as well as would promote the Visit Nepal Year 2020.
Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwakarma asserted that 13th SAG would be an important opportunity for Nepal and extended his best wishes for its success.
Nepal is hosting SAG games for the third time, with the last one being in 1999. In the inaugural, the 13th SAG players had conducted march-past while a troupe of artists had performed cultural processions dressed in ethic apparel representing different indigenous communities.
Fireworks were cracked in the inaugural eliciting the cheers and applause from the jubilant spectators who were seeing such a regional mega sports event being held in their city for the first time.
Also speaking in the inaugural, National Sports Council member-secretary Ramesh Silwal shared that the dates for 13th SAG were postponed twice owing to various reasons and this time Nepal was all poised to host it in full cooperation of one and all.
He was confident of Nepal’s brilliant performances in all sports disciplines.
Similarly, Gandaki Province’s Minister for Social Development Nardevi Pun viewed that it was an opportunity for Pokhara to host the 13th SAG.
Likewise, Pokhara Metropolitan City Mayor Man Bahadur GC opined that 13th SAG being held in Pokhara had indicated that the popular tourist destination had prospects for sports tourism as well.