Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel announced a cash prize for medal winners at a mega event on Tuesday while interacting with the state’s contingent, which included players, coaches, and support staff.
The CM also established an aggressive ‘GoForGold’ goal for his states’ teams and players in the 36th National Games, which begin here on September 29.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister asked the state contingent to aim for gold and to believe that nothing is impossible.
“Once you believe that you can achieve the impossible, you are already halfway there. If you can believe, no one can stop you from achieving greatness,” he said.
“The state government is doubling the cash awards for winning medals as a gesture of encouragement and appreciation,” he added.
Sports Minister of Gujarat Harsh Sanghavi reminded the gathering that team Gujarat enjoys the ‘Home Advantage’ as a host state and urged his players to take full advantage of it.
“You all have started playing sport on this very land and now you have an opportunity to bring glory. It is my heartfelt desire that all of you excel in your sport,” he declared.
Former All-England Open winner and national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and world champion shooter Anjali Bhagwat were the chief guests at the function. They encouraged the players to think big and let the results take care of themselves.
“I congratulate the Gujarat government for taking the initiative to host the National Games. If we can organize an event with 20,000 athletes so grandly, I am confident that we can host the Olympics too, which assembles only 11,000 athletes,” Pullela Gopichand stated.
Anjali Bhagwat also spoke to the gathering and reminisced how her sporting career began in Ahmedabad.
“I am delighted to be here, especially as my first ever shooting match was here in Ahmedabad when I came as an NCC girl. I went on to win a medal and my journey in the sport began,” the former world number one shooter said.
“Mental strength and mindset are the two keys to success,” she said. “You need to believe that you can be a champ. Give 100 per cent, but visualize yourself winning the medal, standing on the podium. If your mind doesn’t see that, you can’t get there,” she added.
While advising the selected players via a video presentation, the state coaches urged their wards to “play fair yet fierce” and beat the competitors.
The Chief Minister also unveiled the kit for the National Games, the playing gear that the team will wear during competitions and training. He also briefed on the ongoing preparations for the National Games, training camps etc.
Nearly 2,000 people attended the function, including Gujarat National Games players, coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, top state sports officials and bureaucrats, representatives of sports academies, media.
The 36th edition of the National Games of India will be held in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, and Bhavnagar in the state of Gujarat between September 27 and October 10, 2022.