National Games: The carnival of sports in India



The 36th edition of the National Games was held in Gujarat. It commenced on 27th September and concluded on 10th October. It is considered a mega sports festival in India in which athletes from all the states participate in numerous Sports. The national games provide a golden platform for all aspiring athletes who dream of representing India at an international level. But what is the history of the National Games, and why is it conducted?


The history of the National Games:


The National Games were previously known as the Olympic Games in the early 1920s. 1920 is also considered the most important year for Indian sports because India sent its first national Olympic team for the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. It is also known as the birth of the Indian Olympic movement. The first Indian Olympic Games was held in February 1924 in Delhi to select Indian athletes for the 1924 Paris Olympics. A provisional Indian Olympic Committee (IOA) was set up to organize the National Games. After the first edition, the Olympic games were renamed as the National Games during the 9th edition, which was held in Bombay in 1940. Later the IOA declared that the National Games was a concept to promote the development of sports and the Olympic movement in India.


Below is the list of venues for National Games for the last few years:

Photo Credit- nationalgamesgujarat.in
Photo Credit- nationalgamesgujarat.in

About the National Games 2022:

This edition of National Games 2022 was conducted on a massive scale. During the inaugural function of the 36th National Games, the Union Home Minister addressed in his

speech that “Modiji has worked to increase the budget for National Games from Rs 866 crore in 2014 to Rs 2000 crore in 2022”The games consisted of 7000 athletes from 28 states, 8 union territories and the Indian Armed Forces competing in 36 sports. In this editionof the games the new union territories of Ladakh, Dadra Nagar and Haveli and Daman and Diu made their debut. Thus, the states compete against each other in all the sports to win the most number of medals and secure 1st place in the medal tally.


Medal Tally of National Games 2022:

Photo Credit- nationalgamesgujarat.in

As seen in the above table, Services Sports Control Board secured the 1st position by winning a total of 128 medals including 61 gold. Maharashtra gave a sweet surprise to everyone by winning a total of 140 medals including 39 gold and securing 2nd place in the medal table surpassing Haryana who is usually at the top according to past trends. This is Maharashtra’s best performance in the history of the National Games.


Key Highlights of National Games 2022:


The opening ceremony by Hon. Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi:


Photo Credit- The Hindu
Photo Credit- The Hindu

The opening ceremony took place at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad among thousands of audience members who came to see the humongous ceremony which started with a brief show on Gujarat’s rich culture followed by several dances of garba and dandiya based on the Navratri theme. Gujarat’s star swimmer Maana Patel brougt the symbolic Torch of Unity into the stadium and handed it over to Mr. Narendra Modi. The opening ceremony was also attended by the sporting icons of India like Neeraj Chopra, P.V Sindhu, Mirabai Channu and many others.


Records broken in Athletics:

Photo Credit- The Indian Express
Photo Credit- The Indian Express

Rosy Meena Paulraj from Tamil Nadu broke the national record and won gold in Pole Vault. The 24-year-old Rosy cleared 4.20m to go past VS Surekha’s earlier national mark of 4.15m set in 2014. Meanwhile, Amlan Borgohain of Assam and Jyothi Yarraji of AndhraPradesh emerged as the fastest man and woman respectively in the 100m dash events.


Rupali Gangwane’s meaningful contribution in Maharashtra’s success:


Maharashtra’s mallakhamb stars which was led by Rupali Sunil Gangwane won 3 of the 5 gold medals matches and helped Maharashtra jump to the second position in the medal table surpassing Haryana. Rupali also won gold in the Women’s Rope competition adding to the individual All Round gold and team gold she won before.


Best Athletes of National Games 2022:

Photo Credit- pib.gov.in

Indian swimmers Hashika Ramachandra and Sajan Prakashwere announced as ‘Best Female Athlete’ and ‘Best Male Athlete’ respectively. 14-year-old Hashika won six gold medals and seven medals in total on her National Games debut while 29-year-old Sajan won eight medals, including five individual Gold, two silver and one bronze.


Where is the next edition planned?


IOA has confirmed that Goa will be hosting the 37th National Games which will be scheduled in October 2023. The local delegation also received the IOA flag at the closing ceremony of the 36th National Games. It can be safely concluded that the National Games 2022 was a massive success in not only providing a platform for the existing athletes but also in inspiring thousands of future athletes of India.


About the author Mitali Ghodke is a sports enthusiast. She is a district-level handball player. She also underwent professional cricket coaching for 2 years. As she is a huge sports fan, she is currently interning with Simply Sport Foundation to learn and contribute in the field of sports.

About Simply Sport Simply Sport is a sports policy research & development organization based out of India. Simply Sport’s vision is to promote sports as an effective tool for the development of the nation. It focuses on policy research, grassroots development and the use of technology in sports. To subscribe to Simply Sports Newsletters, Research & Articles, please write to subscribe@simplysport.in. You can follow Simply Sport on the Twitter handle @_SimplySport for more sports-related content.



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