CM gives in-principal nod for GFDC-Lesgaft project

The Chief Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday principally gave the nod to start a much anticipated sports development project to be implemented in the state in association of a Russian sports science university.

Goa Football Development Council (GFDC), which is the state body which will oversee the project with the assistance of Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, hosted a four-member delegation from the St Petersburg-based organisation, which gave a presentation about their ambitious project, which aims to produce world class athletes that would fetch Goa Olympic medals.

The delegation head Mr Yakov Morozov, director of the Institute of Sports Facilities and the Industry and the vice-president of the Federation of Sports Managers in Russia proposed to help the state to develop its "sports and sports industry".

"We are grateful for being invited to develop sports and sports industry within Goa. With the help of University of Lesgaft we are sure we will be able to bring benefit to both India and Russia. I hope it leads to further close association between us," Mr Morozov said.

Mr Parrikar was quick to accept the offer of the university which has so far collected 183 gold medals with its students winning 15 medals—seven gold, three silver and five bronze—in the recently held Summer Olympics in London.

"We would be pleased to be associated with the university which has won so many gold medals in the Olympics. Let’s move on with this project," the Chief Minister told the delegation which also included Mr Nikolaev Sergei, head of the North-West branch of the Federation of Sports Managers in Russia, Mr Nikitin Ruslan, deputy director of the Institute of Sports Facilities and the Industry and Mr Nunez Joshua David, translator. Founder and president of Original 21st Century Discoveries Mr Nilesh Neel, who is working with Russian scientists and architects to bring new technologies and discoveries to India in the field of water development and sports development from Russia also accompanied the delegation.

A short film made by first course students of the university, which is the oldest sports and educational institution in the world and was founded in 1896 by an eminent scientist Peter Franzevich Lesgaft, was shown as part of the presentation to showcase the work and achievements of the university in the field of sports.

Earlier, Dr Rufino Monteiro, chairman of GFDC welcomed the delegation. Aldona MLA Mr Glenn Ticlo, Chief Secretary Mr B Vijayan, Goa Football Association president Mr Shrinivas Dempo, SAG executive director and member secretary of GFDC Mr Elvis Gomes were also present for the function held in a city hotel.

Lesgaft has a proud sporting tradition and produced Russia’s first Olympic champion NA Panin-Kolomenkin in 1908 Games. Lesgaft students have won over 700 gold medals at world and European championships. Over 300 graduates have the title of Honoured Master of Sports and more than 500 are honoured coaches in various sports. The university has trained more than 45,000 professionals in Russia and neighbouring countries as well as countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. In fact, the university helped Kazakhstan win six gold medals at the 2012 London Games after implementing its sports development programme in the country.

The delegation will conduct a six-day tour of the state and interact with all the major stakeholders to develop the project. They will make presentations and give lectures to sports administrators, coaches, physical education teachers and also meet various official bodies to discuss the promotion and development of sports in Goa. The team will also visit Goa University to discuss their initiative of
sports development. [NT]