National Games off to a colourful start: "The feeling and energy of such a grand event are beyond words," says Modi
Ahmedabad, September 29, 2022
Amid pomp, pageantry and a colorful display of Gujarat's heritage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally declared the 36th National Games open here this evening saying that "the feeling and energy of such a grand event are beyond words".
Before declaring the Games open at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the Prime Minister inaugurated the world-class “Swarnim Gujarat Sports University” in Desar.
Addressing the huge gathering, the Prime Minister exclaimed that the exhilarating atmosphere at the inauguration of the National Games was beyond words. More than 7000 athletes, more than 15,000 participants, more than 35,000 colleges, universities and schools and the direct connection of more than 50 lakh students with the National Games is amazing and unprecedented, he said.
“At the world's largest stadium, such a young country in the world, and the biggest sports festival in the country! When the event is so wonderful and unique, its energy ought to be so extraordinary,” Modi remarked.
He recited the key words of the National Games anthem "Judega India - Jeetega India" to the rousing accompaniment of everyone present in the stadium.
He said that the confidence shining on the faces of athletes is a precursor of the coming golden age of Indian sports. He also praised the capability of the people of Gujarat for organizing such a grand event at such short notice.
He mentioned that the official mascot for the National Games is Savaj, the Asiatic lion, and said it reflects the mood of India’s youth, a passion for fearless entry into the sporting arena. This is also a symbol of rising India in a global scenario, he said.
Speaking about the uniqueness of the stadium, the Prime Minister said that while other complexes are limited to only a few sports facilities, Sardar Patel Sports Complex has facilities for many sports like Football, Hockey, Basketball, Kabaddi, Boxing and Lawn Tennis. “In a way, it is a model for the whole country. When infrastructure is of this standard, the morale of the athletes also soars,” the Prime Minister added.
Urging the players who are participating in the National Games to enjoy the Navratri event in the state, he reiterated the importance of sports in national life.
“The victory of the players in the field of play, their strong performance, also paves the way for the victory of the country in other fields. The soft power of sports enhances the country's identity and image manifold," he said.
“I often tell my friends related to sports - Success starts with action! That is, the moment you start, the very moment success also starts. If you have not abandoned the spirit of moving, then victory keeps chasing you," he said.
Highlighting the progress made in the field of sports, Modi said that eight years ago, players from India used to participate in less than a hundred international events. On the contrary, the number of international events that players from India participate in has gone up to 300 now. “Eight years ago, the players of India used to go to play 20-25 games. Now players from India go to participate in about 40 different sports. Number of medals as well as India’s aura are increasing today," he said.
He said that even during the difficult period of the coronarius pandemic,
Even during the difficult period of Corona, the Prime Minister said that the morale of the sports persons was not allowed to ebb. “We worked for sports with a sports spirit. Prepared in mission mode for years through schemes like TOPS. Today, from the success of the big players to the future creation of the new players, TOPS is playing a big role,” he said.
He recalled that India gave its best Olympics performance this year at Tokyo Olympics. Similarly, the Thomas Cup victory by the badminton team brought fresh cheers. He also praised the achievement of para-athletes in various international events. He expressed happiness on the equal and strong participation of female athletes in this resurgence.
Speaking directly to the players, he shared a mantra with them. “If you want to win the competition, then you have to learn to live commitment and continuity. Defeat and victory in sports should never be considered the final outcome.
"The dreams of a young country like India can be realised if the sports spirit becomes a part of your life. You have to remember, where there is movement, there is progress," he said.
“You have to maintain this momentum off the ground as well. This pace should be the mission of your life. I am sure, your victory in the National Games will give the nation a chance to celebrate, and will also instill new confidence in the future,” the Prime Minister added.
The National Games are being held in the state of Gujarat for the very first time. Nearly 15,000 sportspersons, coaches, and officials from across the country are participating in 36 sports disciplines, making it the biggest National Games ever.