Ahmedabad, Sep 13 (SocialNews.XYZ) Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel set an ambitious target for his state's teams and players in the 36th National Games, starting here on September 29, doubling the cash bonanza for medal winners.
At a mega ceremony to launch the #GoForGold programme on Tuesday, the Chief Minister announced a cash bonanza for medal winners while interacting with the state's contingent, including players, coaches and support staff.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister asked the state contingent to 'aim for GOLD'!
"Once you believe that you can achieve the impossible, you are already halfway there. If you can believe, no one can stop you from achieving greatness," he said.
"The state government is doubling the cash awards for winning medals as a gesture of encouragement and appreciation," he added.
Gujarat's Sports Minister Harsh Sanghavi reminded the gathering that Team Gujarat enjoyed the Home Advantage as the host state and urged his players to take full advantage of it.
"You all have started playing sport on this very land and now you have an opportunity to bring glory. It is my heartfelt desire that all of you excel in your sport," he declared.
Former All-England Open winner and national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and world champion shooter Anjali Bhagwat were the chief guests at the function. They exhorted the players to think big and let the results take care of themselves.
"I congratulate the Gujarat government for taking the initiative to host the National Games. If we can organise an event with 20,000 athletes so grandly, I am confident that we can host the Olympics too which assembles only 11,000 athletes," Gopichand declared.
"I am delighted to be here, especially as my first-ever shooting match was here in Ahmedabad when I came as an NCC girl. I went on to win a medal and my journey in the sport began," Anjali Bhagwat said.
"Mental strength and mindset are the two keys to success," she said. "You need to believe that you can be a champ. Give 100 percent but visualise yourself winning the medal, standing on the podium. If your mind doesn't see that, you can't get there," she added.
The state coaches, while advising the selected players via a video presentation, urged their wards to "play fair yet fierce" and beat the competition.
The Honourable Chief Minister also unveiled the kit for the National Games, the playing gear that the team will wear during competitions and training. He also briefed on the ongoing preparations for the National Games, training camps etc.
Neary 2,000 persons were present at the function, including players representing Gujarat in the National Games along with their coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, etc, top sports officials and bureaucrats from the state, representatives of sports academies, media, etc.