Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant and the State Sports Minister revealed that Goa is set to make history by hosting the 37th edition of the National Games, featuring a record-breaking 43 sporting disciplines in a Press Conference on Friday.
The event promises to be a celebration of athletic prowess, and camaraderie and is to feature the introduction of several exciting sports disciplines. Compared to the previous edition in Gujarat, which featured 36 disciplines, and Kerala's 2015 edition with 33, this year's National Games will be the largest ever.
Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant stated his vision for Goa, saying, "We aspire to establish a thriving sports ecosystem in Goa. Just as tourists have long enjoyed our beautiful beaches, we now aim to attract sports enthusiasts from around the globe. Events like the Ironman and the World Table Tennis event have showcased our capabilities in hosting international sporting events. With state-of-the-art infrastructure developed for the National Games, we invite sports associations and national federations to utilize these facilities year-round. Our objective is to elevate sports in Goa to new heights."
The Olympic-style multisport event will witness participation from 28 states and 8 union territories and is scheduled to take place from October 26 to November 9th. Multiple venues throughout the state will host the various competitions, with cycling and golf being held in Delhi.
The 37th National Games will mark the debut of several new sports disciplines on the medal stage, including beach football, roll ball, golf, sepaktakraw, sqay martial arts, kalliyarapattu, and pencak silat. Additionally, yachting and taekwondo are making a triumphant return to the Games after their exclusion during the last edition. To celebrate tradition, the sports of lagori and gatka have been included as demonstration sports, adding a unique and cultural dimension to the event.
Goa Sports Minister Shri Govind Gaude emphasized the significance of this historic event, saying, "The 37th National Games is not merely an event; it's a wellspring of inspiration for sports enthusiasts and athletes across India. As we prepare to host this momentous event in the heart of Goa, we are not only celebrating sports but also preserving the legacy of the Asian Games. Our goal is not just to promote participation but to ignite a passion for sports in every individual, from every corner of our diverse nation. Together, we will make the 37th National Games an event to remember, a symbol of unity, and a stepping stone for the future of sports in India."
Secretary of Sports & CEO, NGOC Smt. Swetika Sachan expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming sports event, saying, "Our vision for the National Games 2023 in Goa extends beyond sporting excellence. It's about fostering lasting friendships and embracing the true spirit of sportsmanship. We invite the media to join us in amplifying Goa's exceptional sporting spirit and prowess. Together, let's script a historic chapter in Indian sports."
The National Games have previously featured the participation of prominent Indian athletes such as Neeraj Chopra, Sania Mirza, Mirabai Chanu, Sajan Prakash, and Manu Bhaker.
Shri Amitabh Sharma, Chairman of the National Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) for the Indian Olympics Association, urged the nation to prepare for the most significant sporting extravaganza yet, with over 10,000 athletes converging for excellence. He said, "This event represents the grandest amalgamation of talent, with the inaugural coastal rowing event making history in India. We invite the nation to witness this extraordinary spectacle of sportsmanship and diversity."
As preparations gather momentum, Goa extends an open invitation to the nation and the world to be a part of this extraordinary celebration of athleticism and the spirit of sports.