Although it’s not yet officially declared, by all accounts the National Games of 2019 is going to be held in Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) general body , which met in Guwahati on Wednesday , has agreed to allot the 37th edition of the National Games to the residual state -which was the lone bidder (Rs 50 lakh being the bid amount).
“Taking chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s experience in organising the 2002 National Games in Hyderabad and the Afro-Asian Games in 2003 into account, the IOA favoured AP’s bid,“ AP Olympic Association secretary R K Purushottam, who was present at the meeting, told TOI over phone on Wednesday .
Confirming the development, Telangana Olympic Association president K Ranga Rao said, “It’s as good as AP has bagged the prestigious National Games.“ Senior officials said that Naidu has been keen to bring the National Games to the state as he wants to showcase Amaravati as a world class capital. “It will also help bring world-class infrastructure to the new capital. By successfully building stadia and other paraphernalia during the 2002 games, Naidu could hardsell Hyderabad as the wonder capital then. He now wants to replicate the same model for Amaravati,“ a senior official said.
While Goa is hosting the next edition (36th) of National Games in 2016, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana had placed bids for the 2018 games. Although National Games are held once in two years, the next calendar is said to have been adjusted to 2019 following AP’s request. Purushottam told the IOA that world class facilities would be created in time for the games. “We promised we will make the games one of the best in the history,“ he said.
Sources said the state government would require at least Rs 1,000 crore to create infrastructure to host the National Games, including stadia, equipment and accommodation. Around 10,000 athletes from 33 disciplines would take part in the games.
At present, Vijayawada has just one indoor stadium, the DRR Stadium, and one outdoor stadium, the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium. “We have three years to build world class stadia. It’s a big moment for AP . The National Games will help get a branding for the new capital city ,“ claimed Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) chairman P R Mohan.
Source: Times of India