Two Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials paid a visit to Goa in an attempt to pressurise the government to add five more sports disciplines to the thirty two already decided. Wushu, Billiards and Snooker, Modern Pentathlon, Lawn Bowls and Rugby, are the five disciplines that IOA officials Mukesh Kumar and SM Balli want Goa to add.
“The IOA wants Goa to add five more disciplines but Goa had agreed to accommodate two more. From the five, Wushu can be a medal prospect for Goa while Billiards and Snooker is picking up in popularity as a sport,” stated Goa Olympic Association (GOA) general secretary Gurudutt Bhakta.
“Modern Pentathlon is a game that is a combination of fencing, swimming and equestrian. Equestrian is not a discipline in the National Games and I am not well related to Lawn Bowl. Rugby is a game that can be played on a football pitch and requires two posts. I really do not know what the government is going to decide,” added Bhakta.
“I have met IOA officials Kumar when he was in Goa and he has had discussions with SAG and the government. It is for the government to decide,” stated Bhakta.
Attempts to contact Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) Executive Director V Prabhudesai proved futile till the time of going to press.
From the five disciplines that the IOA wants Goa to include in the National Games, two disciplines – Modern pentathlon and Lawn Bowls – have no registered Associations.
“Lawn Bowl is a game where a 14 year old and a seventy year old can participate. It is hardly heard of in Goa and to expect participation from people in Goa is out of the question. The same is true of Modern Pentathlon. Equestrian is a discipline that Goa is totally unprepared,” stated a member in the Sports Ministers office.
“The Sports Minister is against the inclusion of games which will not benefit Goa,” added the source.
The SAG file on the inclusion of these five disciplines was marked to Sports Secretary Ashok Kumar who has in turn left it to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to take a call on whether to add the five disciplines or not.