بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
Hon. Abdulla Ameen, Minister at the President’s Office, Hon. Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal, Minister of Youth & Sports, Mr. Arif Naqvi, President of International Carrom Federation, Mr. Adam Azim, Managing Director of STO, Mr. S.K. Sharma, Secretary General of International Carrom Federation, Executive Members of International Carrom Federation, European Carrom Confederation, and Asian Carrom Federation, Ahmed Mubeen, President of Carrom Association of Maldives, distinguished guests, participants of the 2014 Carom World Cup, Ladies & Gentlemen;
I am honoured to be a part of the opening ceremony of the Carrom World Cup 2014.
Involving a unique combination of strategic thinking and physical fitness, carrom has become one of the most popular sporting and recreational activities in the country, and is indeed an important part of our culture. In this regard, we are honoured to have our Former President, His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, serve as the Patron-in-Chief of the Asian Carrom Confederation.
The Maldives has had the privilege of hosting a number of national and international carrom tournaments, including several SAARC Carrom Championships, as well as the 4th Asian Carrom Championship in 2011. However, this is the first time that we have had the opportunity to host an international sporting event of this calibre, a world cup, in our beautiful island nation. On behalf of the Government, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the International Carrom Federation for extending us this privilege.
The Government attaches a special priority to the wellbeing of our youth, and it is our aim to broaden the opportunities available to young Maldivians. In addition to working towards the provision of world class health and education services, the Government will strive to create state-of-the-art sports facilities around the country.
This is vital, as skills gained through sports lay the foundation for a well-rounded, community-oriented, and educated generation of Maldivians who represent the very best of our society. An event such as this provides the perfect opportunity to realise this lofty goal, as it enables our local players to showcase and further harness their skills, contributing to youth progress and national development.
As such, the Government is fully committed to working alongside the Carrom Association of Maldives, as well as other national sporting organizations, to expand the sporting sector in the country.
Before I conclude, I wish to applaud the Carrom Association of Maldives for putting together this impressive event. I look forward to even more international carrom tournaments here in the Maldives.
Good luck to all participants, and my heartfelt best wishes for the success of the 2014 Carrom World Cup!