Sports History of Nepal

The Patronage of the Royal family in the field of sports has boosted the morale of Athletes in Nepal. Our beloved His Late Majesty the king Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the father of the Nation, had keen interest in the development of sports in Nepal. Martyr Dharma Bhakta Mathema was allowed to train His Majesty in Physical exercise. The entry of Martyr Dharma Bhakta Mathema into Royal Palace was a great opportunity for the Nepalese people to get the support of the king in democratic movement of Nepal against Rana Autocracy. Although Dharma Bhakta Mathema sacrificed his life for the cause of democracy, he was successful at the end.

His Late Majesty King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev had keen interest in football and hockey. Narayanhiti Royal Palace had a separate football team. HRH Crown Prince Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, HRH Late Prince Himalaya Bir Bikram Shah Dev and HRH Prince Basundhara Bir Bikram Shah were the members of Royal football Team. But the team did not participate in any football match outside the Royal Palace.
His Late Majesty King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev used to distribute medals and prizes to encourage players whenever His Majesty got time from political affairs. His Majesty had also attended a meeting to discuss the future of Games and sports in Nepal in the compoud of Gen. Nar Shamsher J. B. Rana in 1951. The meeting was also attended by HRH Crown Prince Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, HRH Prince Himalaya Bir Bikram Shah and HRH Prince Basundhara Bir Bikram Shah. Former Nepalese Prime Minister Mohan Shamsher and other distinguished political leaders were also present His Majesty had kindly graced the audience at the ceremony arranged for the honor of Nepalese Athletes before they left to observe Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952. His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, Mr. B. P. Koirala, General Nar Shamsher J.B. Rana and first Indian Ambassador to Nepal Mr. Chandreshwar Prasad Narain Singh, Mr. Krishna Kumar Burma were also present. The stage was decorated with good slogan for the Athletes of Nepal as "The important things in the Olympic Game is not to win but to take part. The essential thing in life is not to conquer but to fight well. Only the sportsmen can raise the prestige of the nation." It was the first event for the Nepalese Athletes to observe international games in the annal of Nepalese history with the dawn of the democracy in 1951. General Nar Shamsher J. B. Rana and Mr. Krishna Kumar Burma went Helsinki to observe Olympic Games in 1952 His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was a great lover of games and Sports. It was because of His Majesty's encouragement Badminton developed as a national game in Nepal. In 1956 His Majesty had kindly accepted the responsibility of becoming the first chairman of Badminton Association. His Majesty the King had made significant contributions in the development of badminton as the Chairman of Badminton Association. Mr Buddhi Shamsher Rana, the member of Badminton Association, recalled that it was because of the inspiration of His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, Games and sports flourished in Nepal. His Late Majesty had also developed interest in athletics and table tennis.
There was a historical football match between King's Eleven (Naresh Eghara) and Prime Minister's Eleven in 1959. The King's Eleven was led by His Late majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Prime Minister's Eleven by first democratically elected Prime Minister Late B. P. Koirala .
His Late Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was very much keen to develop Games and Sports of Nepal. Under the command and guidance of His majesty the King Nepal participated in many international Games regularly. His Majesty himself was very much fond of Swimming, Horse Riding, Piloting and Physical Exercise. In 1978 His Majesty was decorated with the title of parading by his father His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.

In 1958 National Health and Sports Council was formed under the Chairmanship of then Education Minister Parasu Narayan Chaudhary and Hora Prasad Johsi as the first Member Secretary. Two years later the name was change to National Sports Council.

In 1960 Nepal again took part in Olympic games for the second time as observer in Rome, Italy. Nepal joined Olympic Movement only in 1963. As stated in International Olympic Charter, National Olympic Committee had to register five National Associations to be a member of International Olympic Committee. Out of five Associations registered at least three should be from Olympic disciplines. Therefore, Nepal Olympic Committee registered National Amateur Athletics Association NAAA, National Football Association NFA and Nepal Boxing Association from among Olympic disciplines and rest of the two Associations such as Nepal Badminton Association NBA and All Nepal Table Tennis Association ANTTA were from non Olympic discipline. Finally National Olympic Committee of Nepal was affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The first ADHOC Committee of the National Olympic Committee was chaired by His Late Royal Highness Prince Basundhara Bir Bikram Shah. His Royal Highness was assisted by General Nar Shamsher J.B. Rana and Sahabjyu Haribikram Shah as Vice Presidents and Mohan Raj Joshi as Secretary General. Mr. Mohan Raj Joshi in an interview, justified the purpose of the establishment of the National Olympic Committee as a new venture to bring Nepalese player with the par of international standared through Olympic Games. Mr. Joshi also recalled the financial and physical constrain of the national Olympic Committee to work smoothly for the development of games and sports. However, Nepalese Athletes participated in the 18th Olympic Games held in Tokyo in 1964 for the first time during the tenure of his office. The first elected President of National Olympic Committee was Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah. Mr. Mohan Raj Joshi continued as Secretary General. As a President of National Olympic Committee Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah played a vital role for the development of the Games and sports in Nepal. During the term of his office, the People's Republic of China helped Nepal to build national stadium named after the martyr Dashratha Chand. He was the man who established Nar Trophy for football in the name of Gen. Nar Shamsher who himself was one of the pioneers of football game in Nepal.

Nepal could not participate in the 19th Olympic held in Mexico in 1968. Kumar Khadga Bikram Shah stated the reason for not sending Athletes to Mexico was no other than finance. However, Nepal participated in 20th and 21st Olympics held in Munich in 1972 and in Montreal in 1976 respectively during his office as President. Kumar Khadga Bikram was assassinated in the Royal massacre in 2001.

Mr. Sharad Chandra Shah and Late Mr. Anoop Shamsher JB Rana were elected President and Secretary General of National Olympic Committee respectively in 1977. Mr. Sharad Chandra Shan was also elected in the Executive Committee of Asian Games Federation as member for four years. In his capacity as the President of NOC and Member Secretary of the National Sports Council Mr. Sharad Chandra Shah was elected second vice President among 4 Vice Presidents of Olympic Council of Asia. He was also elected as a member and deputy leader member of the sits selections committee for the 10th and 11th Asian Games respectively.

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