Panaji: Govind Gaude is a proud father as his daughter Shravani is all set to participate in the National Games as a member of Goa’s netball team, but he won’t cheer for her or the state. For, Gaude is the sports minister of Goa, the host state for the games.
Shravani (16) has been a part of the state’s netball team and is currently training at a residential camp in Ponda town, some 30 kilometres from here.
“I am the organiser, I cannot say I would be cheering for Goa or my daughter. I would be cheering for all the participants of the National Games,” Gaude told PTI in an exclusive interview.
The National Games in Goa will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 26. More than 10,000 athletes would be participating in these games which would be held across 28 venues in the coastal state.
Being the organiser, Gaude said, he won’t be attending the matches as he will have to travel across all the venues to ensure smooth conduct of the games.
“If you ask me whether I would be cheering for my daughter during the games then I would say no. I would not be even cheering for Goa teams. I have to be neutral,” said the minister.
Gaude said, “Goa is in my heart, there is no two ways about it.”
Goa Netball Association president Shubham Narvekar said Shravani has been associated with the sport right from her school days and has represented the state at various national events.
She has been judged as the “Best Shooter” for the national event, he said.
Narvekar said the teenager has been regular at the residential camp organised at Ponda by the association to prepare for the National Games. The camp began in August this year and will culminate before the National Games.
He said the Goa team could not qualify for the last National Games held in Gujarat. “In fact, this is the first time that Goa would be playing in a netball event for the National Games. We are aiming for the Gold,” Narvekar said.