The 35th National Games are round the corner. After the stint in Ranchi in 2011, this time the bandwagon moves down South to the lush coasts of Kerala. Set to kickstart on the 31st of January, the official mascot of the event, Ammu the Hornbill heralded the National Games into ‘God’s own Country’, with the Run Kerala Run marathon.
The games will commence at the Greenfield Stadium, Karyavattom, Thiruvananthapuram. The torch relay will start from Kasarkode, the northernmost district of Kerala on the 23rd of January, pass through 14 districts, covering a distance of 850 km over 7 days. It will reach the capital on the 29th of January, and will be kept at the University Stadium, from where it will be taken to the Greenfield Stadium as part of a grand procession.
The organisers have promised an opening ceremony bound to mesmerise everyone. The games will feature players from all 30 states and 5 of the union territories, and one departmental team (SSCB). It was their performance in the National Championships of the respective games that ensured a ticket to the National Games for these teams.
Sachin Tendulkar, the goodwill ambassador, had taken part in the introductory marathon, asking the public to extend their support and care to the players. This time the games will use a high tech timing, scoring and results system, which will help give out rapid and accurate results. The games will end on the 14th of February.
The organizing committee has decided to implement environment friendly techniques in line with the Swach Bharath initiative. With “Clean and Green Games“ as its motto, the organizers are all set to put a hold on the use of plastic and paper. All the venues have been declared ‘Green Zones’ with plastic and polythene bags being strictly prohibited.
“At every national games or any large event for that matter, there is always an issue of waste accumulation and disposal, especially when it comes to plastic. We have been working along with Dr Vasuki of the Suchitwa Mission to ensure that National Games 2015 sets an example when it comes to such environmental issues,” says Swathy Sivram, assistant project officer.
History of the Games
The National Games was introduced in India in 1924 to encourage participation in the Olympic Games. It started off as the “Indian Olympic Games” and was renamed into the National Games in 1940. More or less an Indianized version of the Olympics, the games have been held once before in Kerala, in 1987.
Let’s pack our bags and head to Kerala. To add to the greenery and pleasant climate, the state is now a sports hub too! It’s time to set new records and spot fresh talent. Get, Set, Play!