National Games 21 years ago

“The National Games is the most important sporting event in the country.” So says the website of the currently-in-progress 35th National Games Kerala 2015 (31 Jan – 14 Feb). It’s something like India’s Olympics. However, none of the television news channels, save Doordarshan even mentions it as a news item, so forget covering it live. What with the Delhi elections and the impending cricket World Cup, even the newspapers give it not even quarter page. Those interested would need to rely on the website for updates and results, which even has live webcast feed.

Yesterday was an exciting day for some of us in Mumbai. One of the girls who trains with the other youngsters at SAI, Kandivali (E), Rashmi Sheregar had made it to the final of the women’s 100m. Her timing in the semi-final at 11.70 sec was the best among all the runners so we were all expecting a medal. In a closely contested final, Rashmi won the bronze with a timing of 11.87 sec. Read the report here. She is not yet 17 and has several years ahead of her to improve on her timing and maybe make it to the Asian/ Olympic Games. The qualifying mark for the 100m women at the 2014 Asian Games was 11.50 sec.

I now look back 21 years, at the National Games that was held in Balewadi, Pune, Jan 16-24 1994, As a part of the Karnataka women’s basketball team, it was a fortnight to remember. We travelled by train from Bangalore to Pune, in time for the opening ceremony and we left after the games ended. This was quite unlike some of the elite sportspersons who arrived only for their events, stayed in good hotels around, and left as soon as they were done. Our team did not make it to the semis, but the memories I hold are still very fond. And the photographs keep them alive!

The huge Maharashtra contingent entering the ground
16th Jan 1994 – The huge Maharashtra contingent entering the sports stadium during the opening ceremony
national games 1994 01
Lighting the flame
national games 1994 02
The Karnataka contingent, listening to speeches
A scene from the opening ceremony
A scene from the opening ceremony
The National Games Village in Chikhali
The National Games Village in Chikhali
The view from our flat in Block 15 of the National Games Village
The view from our flat in Block 15 of the National Games Village. The tent was the dining area.

national games 1994 08

national games 1994 09

Some members of the Karnataka Women's Basketball Team, before the closing ceremony
Some members of the Karnataka Women’s Basketball Team, before the closing ceremony
The closing ceremony march past
The closing ceremony march past
Raju the games mascot
Raju the games mascot
A solo for the record!
A solo for the record!

3 thoughts on “National Games 21 years ago

  1. Rohan H Jaisi January 24, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    Such a nostalgic experience to see all these pictures. I was in 9th grade and our school was among the performers for the opening ceremony. I still remember the opening theme song sung by Lata Mangeshkar… Can’t find it anywhere though 😟…

    Like

  2. Rupak December 23, 2017 / 11:37 am

    thank you for sharing these rare moments in time.My brother Shyam rajkhowa won gold medal in Taikowando in national games that year. he was from Assam.

    Like

  3. pritamjagtap July 26, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    Happy to read this blog. Madam I’m pleased to inform you that we have our childhood memories related to that national games village. We are living in this colony from 1994. Im requesting you to please share some more pictures with me related to national games 1994 .
    This is my mail id
    pritamjagtap1995@gmail.com
    Hope so you will help me to discover me my childhood memories.

    Like

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