The 24-day long Swarnim Khel Mahakumbh, in which nearly 1.3-million sportspersons participated in 16 games in at 1,100 venues across Gujarat, concluded at the Police Stadium here today with fanfare and clat.
Describing it as India's largest sports meet at its closing ceremony, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that now on the 'Khel Mahakumbh' would be held every year. He expressed his resolve to start a Sports University in the state.
He said sports and games formed part of his Panchmrut Yojna, launched earlier for all round development of the people and the state. He wished this unique event started to mark the golden jubilee of the state's formation, create a new sports temper in the state and subsequently across India.
He distributed prizes, trophies to winners and runners-up in different categories, including one for the physically challenged, worth Rs.20-crore. He also honoured the 19 best national-level sportspersons with cash prize of Rs. one-lakh each.
Watch : Shri Modi's call to the citizens to participate in Gujarat Khel-Mahakumbh-2010 (Part-1)
Mr. Modi had declared the Mahakumbh on November 24, which progressed from the taluka level to district and then state-level semi-finals and finals. A few more events would be added next year, he said.
Watch : Shri Modi's call to the citizens to participate in Gujarat Khel-Mahakumbh-2010 (Part-2)
He congratulated nearly one-lakh sports managers, participants, spectators and other for making a grand success of the historic event. The beauty of the event was participation of sportspersons from each of the 18,000-odd villages, besides 160 cities and towns, in the state.
Sports and Cultural Activities Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela also expressed hope the Khel Mahakumbh would prompt more youth to participate in sports and earn laurels for the nation in international events.