“Creating infrastructure and leaving behind a legacy for people inclined to excel in sports is one aspect of the National Games. Preparing teams from Goa is another and for that the government has kept aside around Rs 25 crore,” Sports secretary, Ashok Kumar told The Navhind Times at the Secretariat in Porvorim on Tuesday.
“We have identified some disciplines where Goa is known to be doing well and we will be spending bulk of the money on these sports. The maximum share of money will be spent on sports which we are expected to win. We expect other sports associations to prepare their sportspeople and if they do well, we have earmarked big prize money for them. That explains the disparity you see in terms of finance for training and rewards to those who win,” stated Kumar.
“We have earmarked bigger prize money to sports associations where the government will not be investing much in their training and a lesser amount will be given to associations where money is being invested for the training of sportspeople before,” explained Kumar.
Goa, as host, is entitled to participate in all thirty seven disciplines. “ We are not participating for the sake of participation. The Games must be seen as an event where we can not only win laurels but showcase sports not frequently seen or known in Goa. An interest in other sports needs to be created in people,” said Kumar.
Most works related to infrastructure for the National Games have started. A few are yet to start. However, Kumar is not perturbed. “I am in direct touch with all contractors and personally inspect the work. I have made it clear to all that they should not use the excuse of having to pay commissions for the delay in works. If works are not on time, payments will be withheld and hefty fines will be imposed. All contractors have understood the urgency of delivering on time,” stated
“Contractors can inform me if they are being harassed. They know the government has zero tolerance towards such gratifications,” assured Kumar.
“The response from sports associations on the draft policy on preparation of State teams for the National Games has been received and the same will be approved in the meeting with the Chief Minister. The date of unveiling the logo and the mascot for the National Games will also be decided in the meeting with the Chief Minister,” stated Kumar.
“I am in touch with heads of all FA’s on a daily basis. All heads have been advised to use the expertise of the department staff and that all the necessary tenders for related works to be issued by October. I expect all the services to be completed a month prior to the Games,” stated Kumar.
“I would want the National Games in Goa to be remembered as the best. I want the Games to have a positive impact on the youth of Goa, to create a major awareness of Games people in Goa are not familiar with and expect people to take up sports that they are not familiar with. Goa should look at the National Games as an opportunity to see what they have not seen. The biggest take away will be the legacy of the infrastructure that will be left behind. Imagine people in Pernem being able to use an indoor facility after the games are over,” concluded Kumar.