Indian Olympic Association on Tuesday asked its state units and national sports federations to ensure participation of the top athletes of the country in the 36th National Games to be held in multiple venues in Gujarat from September 29 to October 12.
Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar will play hosts to the National Games being held after a gap of seven years since 2015, while the track cycling event will be held in New Delhi.
“To ensure the esteemed significance of the National Games, participation of all eligible eminent athletes who have taken part/won medals in the International Games and Championships are necessary to compete in the 36th National Games,” the IOA said in a letter to all the NSFs and state Olympic associations.
“The Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations are requested to keep this in mind when selecting the athletes for representing their sports and States,” IOS Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in the letter.
Mehta said wholehearted support and cooperation from the IOA, NSFs and State Olympic Associations will play a vital role in making the National Games successful.
“As far as the athletes are concerned, participation in the National Games is most important for them.” Mehta said the NSFs will tell the IOA who among the top athletes of the country are available for the National Games.
“I have asked the NSFs and they will reply who among the top athletes are available or not. We will see after that.” An estimated 7,000 athletes from 28 states and eight Union Territories are expected to take part across 36 disciplines that include most traditional Olympic sports.
Indigenous sports like mallakhamb and yogasana will also feature in the National Games for the first time.
The 36th National Games was officially launched at the EKA Arena TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Sunday in the presence of eminent dignitaries from the world of politics and sport.