VASCO: It was a traditional Goan welcome as the first batch of players began arriving on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the National Games in the State.
The badminton team from Uttarakhand was accorded a welcome on their arrival at the Goa International Airport in Dabolim by Sports Minister Govind Gaude, Vasco MLA Krishna Salkar and other dignitaries.
Local artistes also performed the Dhol Tasha and others depicted Goan culture, as part of the welcome ceremony.
Speaking to media persons at Dabolim airport, Sports Minister Govind Gaude said it was a proud moment for Goa to be hosting the 37th National Games.
Uttarakhand team arrives in Goa
“The first team has arrived here from Uttarakhand and we have given the athletes a grand welcome. We want to ensure that a grand welcome is not restricted only to VIPs but also to all the athletes, technical officials and others participating in the National Games,” said Gaude.
“This is the first badminton team from Uttarakhand and we will have 156 athletes arriving today from both airports, Margao and Karmali railway stations and two athletes who will arrive in their own vehicle.”
“We have made all their travel arrangements, to and from the arrival point (airport and railway station) to the hotel and also arranged their food through the State government,” said the minister.
Goans must take advantage of this opportunity
Vasco MLA Krishna Salkar said the National Games is an opportunity for all Goans to see the sportspersons from across the country who would be competing and participating in the National Games at different venues across the State.
“Goans must make the best use of this opportunity and watch the games at all locations to draw inspiration from the event,” said Salkar.
Elsewhere, the Assam team arrived in the State and was given a grand welcome by officials from the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs.