The Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) in coordination with the Gujarat government will be organising the Athletic Federation of India’s (AFI) flagship event - the National Inter District Junior Athletics Meet (NIDJAM) at the Gujarat University campus in Ahmedabad. The three days national event beginning from February 16 expects over 5,000 of budding athletic talents from 615 districts across the nation.
The opening ceremony of NIDJAM will take place on February 15 in Ahmedabad and will be inaugurated by the Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel. The sports minister Harsh Sanghvi will be among several officials present to encourage budding athletes.
"NIDJAM is an event of talent hunting opportunity. The Gujarat government's efforts will be to create an inspiring atmosphere to attract young students towards Athletics. As a result of the event, budding sports talents will be identified and availed to the nation," Sanghvi said.
The minister virtually launched the Mascot of the games.
The sprawling Gujarat University Campus spread over 300 acres will play host to the 19th edition of NIDJAM. Through this flagship event, the government also wants to showcase India’s potential to conduct big events as the central government has expressed its interest to bid for the 2036 Olympic Games.
The AFI will conduct NIDJAM in coordination with the government of Gujarat and Sports Authority of Gujarat from February 16 to 18 in Ahmedabad. The three-day event has attracted 5,558 athletes from 615 districts.
The competition will be conducted in the U14 and U16 boys and girls groups. Each district is eligible to field a 13-member team, including one male and one female official.
“The Gujarat University campus has good facilities, including synthetic track and a spacious warm-up area,“ Adille Sumariwalla, president of the AFI disclosed. The organisers have also invited national and international athletics fraternity to witness the biggest grassroots programme in India.
Catherine O'Sullivan, Kids Athletics Manager at World Athletics, Helio Gesta De Mello, Area President from South America and Robin Sapong Eugenio, Member Council of World Athletics from Oceania will also be present at the occasion.
India’s world bronze medalist in women’s long jump, Anju Bobby George will be among several prominent athletes present on the occasion.
To update the knowledge of the budding athletes, a seminar on the side effects of over training and use of performance enhancing drugs will be conducted.
Replicating this event, the Gujarat government has also planned to organise a similar talent hunt in the state. “A similar pattern of scouting talent will be followed this year in Ahmedabad,” Sumariwalla added.
Gujarat has been annually conducting Khel Mahakumbh since 2010, which attracts big numbers. Gujarat was also the venue for the 36th National Games held in 2022.