Panaji: In a historic event, Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant inaugurated the torch relay for the eagerly awaited 37th National Games 2023 in a grand ceremony held at the Goa Legislature Secretariat, Alto-Porvorim Goa on Tuesday.
The event witnessed the gracious presence of distinguished dignitaries, including Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs Govind Gaude, Secretary of Sports & CEO, NGOC Swetika Sachan, Dr. Geeta S Nagvenkar, Jt. CEO and Executive Director, SAG, Arvind Khutkar, Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, among other notable guests.
This year, Goa is set to make history by hosting the largest-ever National Games, featuring an impressive lineup of 43 sporting disciplines. The 37th National Games will also mark the introduction of several new sports disciplines on the medal stage, including beach football, rollball, golf, sepak takraw, sqay martial arts, kalaripayattu, and pencak silat. Furthermore, yachting and taekwondo are making a triumphant return to the Games after their absence in the previous edition.
In a nod to tradition and culture, the sports of lagori and gatka have been included as demonstration sports, adding a unique dimension to the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant expressed immense pride in commencing the torch relay from Goa, saying, “Today, as we commence the torch relay from Goa, I am filled with immense pride.
The torch, a symbol of the eternal flame of sportsmanship, embodies the commitment to athletic excellence. Be assured, Goa is fully prepared to host this prestigious event, and the torch will journey through our beautiful state in all 12 Talukas and will cover all major tourist destinations in the evening, igniting enthusiasm for the National Games and involving rural areas in this grand celebration.”
The torch carries the spirit of never-ending flame of sportsmanship so let’s join hands to celebrate Sports and India in Sports.
The torch will travel to all 12 talukas, prominent tourist spots with the final stay of the torch at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 25 prior to the opening ceremony on October 26.
Addressing the ceremonial event, Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs Govind Gaude stated, “We are at the defining moment in the sporting history of Goa. We are not looking at the 37th National Games as a mere event but a roadmap for rejuvenated sports ecosystem for the state. With the record number of sports disciplines incorporated in the current edition, this edition will be the biggest ever National Games organised in the country.
I am hopeful that these Games will create new interest and focus on Olympic Sports in Goa. The kind of love shown by the Goenkars for the National Games is becoming a people’s initiative. I urge students to be part of this process and request their parents and teachers to motivate them to be part of National Games.”
The 37th National Games 2023 promise to be a remarkable spectacle of sportsmanship and unity, showcasing the nation’s talent and spirit.
The prestigious event will see participation from 28 states and 8 union territories, with over 10,000 athletes and 2,000 officials. Notably, badminton will lead the charge, commencing seven days before the Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the National Games Goa 2023 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
As the torch sets off on its journey across the state of Goa, anticipation and excitement continue to build for this grand celebration of sports.