Sports legend and one of the leading sports personalities of Gujarat, indeed India, Geet Sethi, believes that hosting the National Games is the first step in the state’s grand plan to host the Olympics in the near future. The former world snooker champion praised the state of Gujarat and the Union government for their proactive approach towards nurturing a sports culture in the country and the support they provide to sportspersons.
“Holding the national games will ensure the improvement of sports infrastructure and this is a very good thing for the state. It will be a great way to prepare for the Olympics bid,” Sethi said, adding that the upcoming athletes in the state will benefit from quality infrastructure. “After the nationals, we have to go beyond the world level and look at it and aim for the Olympics. That’s the whole purpose,” he added.
The 61-year-old, who has been instrumental in shaping the careers of some of India’s elite athletes through the Olympic gold challenge, said the Sports Authority of India and public sector units fund almost all the needs of India’s elite athletes. “We’re seeing a very positive shift in thinking that we want to create world-class athletes, which is why we’ve been doing so well in the sport recently.”I am really impressed with the manner and intent with which the state and the central government are moving forward with the sports agenda,” Sethi said. Asked what message he would give to the Gujarat contingent for the Games, Sethi said, “It’s your home. You will have home support. So focus well, work hard and try to go for the gold.”