Panaji: The 37th National Games in Goa came to a glittering end, with the closing ceremony held in the august presence of the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri. Jagdeep Dhankar, at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) flag was then passed on to Uttarakhand, who will host the 38th National Games. Smt. Rekha Arya, Minister of Sports, Government of Uttarakhand, received the flag on behalf of the state.
The closing ceremony was also attended by the Hon’ble Governor of Goa, Shri. G. Sreedharan Pillai, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Shri. Pramod Sawant, Shri. Shripad Naik, Hon’ble Minister of State for Ports and Member of Parliament, North Goa, Dr. P.T Usha, President of IOA and Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Shri. Govind Gaude, Minister of Sports, Government of Goa.
Addressing the gathering at the closing ceremony, Chief Minister Sawant said, “The National Games was a dream of every person in Goa. Organising National Games in a small state like Goa was not easy. Along with the infrastructure, money was also required. But with everyone's willingness, hard work, dedication and efforts, Goa has done a brilliant job in organising the National Games. It's going to be a tough challenge for the upcoming host states as we have set the benchmark on how to organise the National Games. Nobody has seen such a high technical sporting event like this before.
“A couple of sports made their debut in these Games making it more challenging. All the staff, workers, athletes and coaches have worked equally hard and today we all are happy for organising a successful event and I am proud to say that Goa has won the battle,” he added.
Maharashtra was crowned as the overall champions and received the Raja Bhalindra Singh Ever-Rolling Trophy from the Hon’ble Vice President of India. Sanyukta Prasen Kale of Maharashtra and Pranati Nayak of Odisha won the Best Female Athlete Trophy, which they received from the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa. Both gymnasts won four gold and one silver each to win the coveted award.
Srihari Nataraj of Karnataka, who won a total of ten medals which includes eight gold, one silver and bronze each, bagged the Best Male Athlete Trophy. He was handed the trophy by IOA president Dr. P.T. Usha.
Speaking on this momentous occasion, Dr. P.T. Usha shared, “This grand celebration of sports held in Goa has left an indelible mark in the Indian Sports history. Behind the scenes there's an unsung army of heroes who have worked tirelessly to ensure these Games have become a grand success.
“The Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) and NGOC (National Games Organising Committee) have worked diligently to ensure that every event ran smoothly adhering to the highest standards of professionalism and fairness. Our heartiest appreciation goes to the State Olympic Association, National Sports Federation, coaches and all the support staff who have worked untiringly for this competition.”
She went on to add that, “I am delighted to announce that the 38th National Games will be hosted by the beautiful state of Uttarakhand.”
Shri. Amitabh Sharma, Chairman, GTCC (IOA), Smt. Swetika Sachhan, CEO, National Games Organising Committee (NGOC), Dr. Geeta Nagvekar, Joint CEO, NGOC and Executive Director of Sports Authority of Goa, Shri. Arvind Kutkar, Director of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of Goa, Smt. Sandhya Faldesai, JDA, Sports Authority of Goa, and other top officers in charge of the Games, were also felicitated during the ceremony for their contribution towards the successful conduct of the National Games.
In the beginning, the attendees were also enthralled by a song and dance performance by Mukesh Ghatwal, a popular Goan performer, which was befitting given the Games had been such a tremendous exhibition of the Goan culture.