While the 37th National Games began in Goa with Badminton, much before its formal inauguration, the opposition parties have alleged that non-Goan athletes are recruited to represent the coastal state.
PANAJI: While the 37th National Games began in Goa with Badminton, much before its formal inauguration, the opposition parties have alleged that non-Goan athletes are recruited to represent the coastal state.
Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai on Thursday hit out at the BJP government stating “wearing Goa’s jersey will not make one Goan.”
“The national games are upon us, and I wish all the athletes competing for Goa the very best. All of Goa is praying and wishing to see Goan athletes on the podium. But how Goan is Goa? As a Goemkar [Goan person] I feel disappointed and let down that we’ve to recruit non-Goans to represent us in many events,” Sardesai posted on social media.
“I want this to change. Goa should be represented by Goans, and Goa government must start working at grassroots towards it. Goa is not just a name, it has a proud and profound meaning. Sports Ministry must stop seeing sports as annual events, and implement long term sustainable programmes to discover, equip, and train talented Goans, so that our sense of achievement and pride in our victories are undiluted, undiminished and total,” Sardesai further said.
Congress leader Elvis Gomes said that it took Goa ten years to host National Games and now when it is hosted Goan athletes are not getting opportunities.
“Goan’s are not getting opportunities to play in these tournaments. Today a badminton tournament took place, but Goan athletes were not there. Athletes are brought from other states to get medals. When our state is organising the event and tax payers money is being spent, then we should get participation. This clearly shows that in these ten years, the BJP government failed in sports development,” Gomes said.
“Failure of government has created such a situation where athletes from other states are hired to represent Goa. Government had ten years’ time to train our athletes,” he said.
The 37th National Games began in Goa with Badminton tournament taking place on Thursday, much before its formal inauguration.
The 37thNational Games will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 26 at 6.30 p.m.