Goa will be the smallest state of India to host the biggest National Games with the government going to accede to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) request of adding five more disciplines to the thirty two already decided.
“The financial implications will be the minimum. We have decided to accommodate the five disciplines in the already existing facilities with minimum changes,” sports secretary Ashok Kumar told The Navhind Times.
It may be noted here that the IOA had sent Mukesh Kumar and SM Balli to Goa to convince the government to include Wushu, Billiards and Snooker, Lawn Bowls, Modern Pentathlon and Rugby to the 32 already decided by Goa. With the government accepting the request, with caveats, the 36th National Games will be hosting 37 disciplines, the highest.
The 35th National Games in Kerala hosted 33 disciplines. Ranchi and Jharkhand also hosted 33 while Guwahati had hosted 32 disciplines.
“Lawn Bowls will be accommodated at Benaulim grounds and the IOA has already agreed that we can have Modern Pentathlon by skipping Equestrian,” Kumar told this newspaper.
“The only financial overheads will be in hosting the players, officials and equipment that is linked with these disciplines. No new infrastructure is going to be built for the five disciplines that the government has decided to add,” added Kumar.
The IOA Executive Committee is meeting in New Delhi today and Goa’s acceptance is one of the points to be discussed.
“The extra disciplines will be hosted in the existing conditions. Fencing and Swimming will be part of Modern Pentathlon. The IOA has agreed that we keep out Equestrian,” stated Kumar.
“I am happy to know that Goa has accepted our request to add the other five disciplines,” stated an IOA member from New Delhi.
“It is now the turn of Goa to see that the infrastructure is in place in time,” he added.
Modern Pentathlon and Lawn Bowl are the two disciplines that Goa is unfamiliar with. These two disciplines have no recognised Associations in Goa. The SAG fields its own team when there are no Associations recognised by it. Goa is unlikely to field any teams in Lawn Bowl and Modern Pentathlon.
Attempts to contact SAG director Prabhudesai proved futile.