After Successfully Hosting National Games, Goa Eyes More Sporting Extravaganza -

After Successfully Hosting National Games, Goa Eyes More Sporting Extravaganza

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Dr. Amitabh Sharma, Chairman, Games Technical Conduct Committe with Smt. Swetika Sachan (IAS), Secretary Sports and CEO, National Games Organising Committee.

Khel Today Bureau 

Panaji: When the National Games hosting rights were awarded to Goa, there were mixed reactions from all and sundry about the tiny coastal state’s ability to pull it off without any hiccups.

However, with the end of the 37th National Games, Goa has not just pulled off an incredible feat of hosting the biggest ever Games in terms of participation and sporting disciplines.

With over 10,000 athletes participated in 42 disciplines, many of which made their debut in this edition of the National Games, the organisers are of the opinions that this is Goa’s finest moment in its entire sporting history and the state is all set to host many such sporting events in the future.

“Hosting a National Games has been a matter of absolute pride for every Goan citizen. After all, an event like the National Games is a perfect launch pad for so many budding athletes across the country. Such an event gives athletes a perfect opportunity to showcase their talent and excel in their career. So, as hosts, we considered this part to be of utmost importance and ensured we pull of this year’s national games effortlessly,” said Amitabh Sharma, Chairman, Goa Technical Conduct Committee.

A Successful Story in Infrastructural Development

Sharma also highlighted how the state-of-the-art infrastructure build across the state allowed them to conduct events in multiple venues spread across five cities.

“We took inspiration from last year’s National Games in Gujarat and laid down a roadmap to host a similar kind of multi-city event in Goa as well. Now, the key to that was having a state-of-the-art infrastructure, for which everyone worked on a war footing and made everything possible,” Sharma said.

“There were quite a few new sporting disciplines like Pencak Silat, Lagori, Gatka, Mini Golf, and most importantly, beach football, which is synonymous to Goa. So, to build full-proof infrastructure for these sporting events required plenty of work. But we did everything efficiently and from the scratch, and everyone can see the end results.

“There were some serious challenges. For instances, there were doubts as to whether we would be able to complete everything on time. But the Sports Authority of Goa joined hands with all the important stakeholders and we have been immensely successful,” Sharma added.

Leaving a Strong Legacy

Sharma also pointed to the fact how the ongoing National Games will be remembered for promoting indigenous sports in India and providing scores of athletes in those disciplines a platform to showcase their talent and make a name for themselves.

“The National Games in Goa will be remembered forever not only because of how the state successfully hosted the event but also because of the fact that so many indigenous sporting events had their moment of glory,” Sharma remarked.

“The Indian Olympic Association has been very categorical about the fact that apart from the known sporting events, the need to promote the traditional sports disciplines is equally important. So, we worked closely with the IOA to make that a reality this time in Goa.

 “We successfully introduced those sports that have been part and parcel of the Indian culture and historical values. For example, sports like Gatka, which is associated with Sikhism. Then, you have Lagori that is primarily played in the Western Ghat regions. So, in that way the Goa National Games would be remembered as a launchpad for creating more avenues for so many athletes,” he added.

Smt. Swetika Sachan (IAS), Secretary Sports and CEO, National Games Organising Committee.

Goa All Set to Host Bigger Sporting Events

Swetika Sachan, Sports Secretary, Goa, shed light on the fact that how hosting over 10,000 athletes has been a task but the Sports Authority of Goa took the challenge head on and is now ready to host bigger sporting events in the coming days.

“This National Games has been unprecedented on so many levels. Hosting an event like National Games, means the host state becomes home to tens of thousands of athletes. That said, it is for the very first time, the number crossed the 10,000 mark and Goa being a small state, it was always a task. But, we have been very successful in that regard,” Sachan said.

“We dreamt of hosting an event like National Games for a long, long time. We began work accordingly as well. We built temporary stadiums, refurbished the existing ones, and set strict timelines.

“The Government of India, IOA, and federations of different sports were very supportive in helping us hosting an event of this magnitude. We are now ready to host bigger sporting events in the days to come by making the best use of the existing infrastructure,” she added.

Dr. Geeta Suresh Nagvenkar, Executive Director, National Games Organising Committee. 

An Eco-friendly Initiative

 The beaches in Colva, Dona Paula and Miramar played host to some of the most interesting sporting events in this National Games and the organisers meticulously built apt infrastructure in these tourist hotspots to ensure smooth functioning of the events. But, they had to be equally aware of the fact that beaches, the very heartbeat of Goa, do not get spoiled or polluted.

“One of the core objectives of the Goa National Games is to ensure that we have an eco-friendly campaign throughout the event. The infrastructural development happened in a way that the beaches have remained absolutely in a state they were before. The motto was to not harm the environment in any way,” Geeta Suresh Nagvenkar, Joint CEO, SAG said.

 Nagvenkar, who previously was in-charge of the state environmental department, also stated the 37th edition of the National Games is the first eco-friendly sporting event in India.

“I am a climate change activist and protecting the environment while hosting the National Games has been my utmost priority ever since I took over the responsibility at SAG. It is heartening to see how we fulfilled our mission of making this year’s National Games the country’s first-ever eco-friendly sporting event,” she added.

Women Centric National Games

One of the most unique features of this year’s National Games, per the Organising Committee, is how all-women led team played a pivotal role in hosting the Games.

“This has been the very first time where the women office-bearers, right from the IOA to SAG, played a crucial role in steering this National Games and making it a successful one,” Geeta remarked.

“From Dr. PT Usha, the IOA President, to Swetika Sachan, CEO and Sports Secretary, SAG and others, including me, the all-women led team have been at the forefront this time.

“I am sure this will pave the way for more sports loving women to come forward and play such important roles in hosting an event like the National Games in the days to come. This also highlights the fact that just like men, women are equally capable of running such high-octane events, and, therefore, should be given more responsibility,” she added.

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