Panaji: , Half way through the 37th National Games here in Goa, the state sports minister Govind Gaude has already chalked out plans to “put to use” modern infrastructure as well as expensive equipment being used for the fortnight long multi-discipline competition in the state.
“The legacy part of the National Games is an important aspect of the smooth and successful organisation of the competition,” the sports minister said here on Thursday at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Multiple Indoor Stadium.
The sports minister said that he will urge all the youngsters of the state to come forward and utilise the modern sports infrastructure. “I will say the National Games have been very successful if all the competition venues are put to use by the next generation,” the sports minister added. “Even players from other states are welcome to use the sports infrastructure.”
According to the sports minister, organising National Games in Goa was a big challenge and he accepted it. “I have a passion for sports. I’m the person who will face the challenges in life and take risks,” he revealed.
Collective efforts of all the stakeholders, said the state sports minister, was a key feature of moving forward in the right direction. “The competition venues have been spread out across the state to encourage the sports fraternity of the area to watch the elite athletes in action from a close quarter,” he added.
According to the sports minister, Goa has been an important destination for international events, including U-17 FIFA matches in the past and will continue to support the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to have Goa on their calendar for international competitions.
Goa’s state sports minister said the government is planning to implement sports quota jobs (five percent) in the various departments for elite players which will further give a big boost to sports in the region.
Goa’s state sports minister said he believes in hard work. “Determination is the only way to achieve your goals,” he asserted. “This is applicable in all fields of life and not just sports.”
The sports minister said as a youngster he was inspired by India’s 1983 World Cup triumph. “Nothing can be achieved without hard work. Kapil Dev and his team proved that a long time back,” he recalls.
The enthusiastic sports minister who is a regular at the ground said the preparation of the state contingent started 90 days prior to the National Games. “I will urge all those involved in sports in the region to think beyond the National Games,” he explained. Success isn’t achieved overnight. It takes years of hard work and patience. All the athletes should continue to practice. Slow and steady wins the race.”
The sports minister firmly believes that grassroots development programmes should be a key feature of the ecosystem. “We have four Khelo India centers of excellence (Hockey, Football, Swimming and Table Tennis). And there is a plan to add six more disciplines, including water sports and traditional sports like kabaddi kho-kho.”
The youngsters should be encouraged to take up multiple sports in their formative years, the sports minister said. “We should have a holistic approach to groom budding athletes,” he said.
Being an avid swimmer and fitness enthusiast, the sports minister also touched the mental well being of the players during an hour long chat. “While grooming young athletes we generally ignore the psychological aspect of training. To bridge the gap and have better support staff I want to set up a sports university in the ecosystem in near future,” he revealed.