IOA President and Athletics Legend PT Usha Emphasizes the National Games’ Role in Attracting Young Talent

Indian sprinter PT Usha (Image: AFP file)

PT Usha said traditional and indigenous Indian sports should form the core of the National Games as that can help inculcate the sports culture in our society.

Indian Olympics Association president PT Usha praised the Goa government and the National Games Organising Committee for including a wide range of sports disciplines in the recently concluded in 37th edition of the National Games saying it attracted more athletes from various age groups and would attract more fans towards these disciplines.

The 59-year-old, herself a legendary track and field athlete, said traditional and indigenous Indian sports should form the core of the National Games as that can help inculcate the sports culture in our society.

“The infrastructure built to host the National Games should be open for local as well as outstation athletes. The legacy part of the games is important to build up sports culture. Pre-event activities, including roadshows, and community events are good advertisements to build up excitement in the weeks leading to the National Games.

“The organisers can also organize pre-event activities such as school competitions, roadshows, and community events to build excitement and involvement. They should also implement legacy projects that contribute to the development of sports infrastructure, community engagement, and youth participation even after the National Games have concluded,” she added.

The IOA president, who has been included in the Coordination Committee for the next Asian Games in Japan, said the need of the hour was to have a robust feedback mechanism from participants, stake holders and spectators.

“This information can be valuable for continuous improvement and for addressing any issues that may arise during the games,” said Usha, who spent significant time in Goa looking after the preparation and proper conduct of the Games.

The Rajya Sabha MP said the focus of the next edition of the Games to be held in Uttarakhand should be on being environment friendly. “Use of renewable energy sources and an eco-friendly transportation system for participants and spectators should be the plan for the state.”

Usha insisted that National Games should be conducted every two years but should not be held in the same year as Asian Games or Olympics as the elite athletes would skip the event due to their international commitments.