Sports in Gujarat
Gujarat is a progressive state showing all round development in all fields. As such, the state has shown impressive growth in the sports as well. During past few decades, sports infrastructure in Gujarat has tremendously enhanced. Many new sporting venues have come up in the cities of Gujarat. Also, sporting events are organized on a grand scale in the state. There are many national and regional level sporting academies and organizations working here. They conduct tournaments and keep the sporting calendar of Gujarat abuzz with activities all through the year.
Sports Authority of Gujarat
With view to develop and nurture sporting talent of state, Sports Authority of Gujarat
was established in 1993. It works as an autonomous body. SAG prepares the young sporting talent of the state for various national and international events. It has more than 35, 62, 000 registered players. It has around 123821 registered male teams and 59941 registered female teams. It holds training camps and numerous events to encourage youth for actively participating in sports. To achieve its goal of promoting sports in Gujarat, SAG encourages the sports persons of state to participate in these national forums:
- School Games Federation of India
- National Women’s Sports Festival
- Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society
- National Rural Games (Sports authority of India)
- Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society
Sports Authority of Gujarat has a clear cut aim to identify the pool of sporting talent lying in the state. It also endeavors to create opportunities for these sportspersons, in rural and urban areas. The authority has mission to promote sports with excellence, create positive environment for sports and conduct proper training in sports hostels.
To this effect, SAG has also laid down proper managerial policies from grass roots level. They even work in rural areas to select the talent from these distant places. As a result, the state has produced dignified sportsmen and women to participate and win titles in the various sporting events.
Activities of Sports Authority of Gujarat
SAG is entrusted with duties to encourage and augment the sports in Gujarat. As such, the authority organizes several events at rural and state level. Apart from that, it also prepares the sportsmen for leading national and international tournaments. The main activities of SAG are:Training Camps:
The Authority conducts training camps at district and village levels to prepare the players for upcoming national events. It begins the camps at least 15 days before the event. In this preparatory coaching, more than 55 games are played in the camps. Advanced training camp planning schemes are implemented for players gearing up to participate in national events. Training workshops are held during April/ May. During 2011-12, training camps were organized for 18 games in which around 275 players from across Gujarat participated. SAG also holds Junior Cricket Camps and Swami Vivekanand Hill Shield Cricket tournament to foster fresh talent in the most popular game of India, Cricket.National Competitions:
SAG is aimed at promoting state players for national competitions as well. As such, it encourages school children, women, and sportspersons from rural areas to participate in various national forums. The games in which these players participate include athletics, badminton, archery, baseball, cricket, football, basketball, kabaddi, gymnastic, hockey, taekwondo, wrestling, swimming, judo, tennis, volleyball, water polo, yoga, shooting, weight lifting, etc.
The players have brought great accolades to state with their sporting talent. In the year 2011-12, around 152 medals were won by the players in various sports.State Tournaments:
For better promotion of games at state level, SAG organizes state championships for various games. Akhil Bhartiya Schooling Table Tennis Championship is one such event. It has teams participating from different states. It gives an excellent platform to the budding talent in state as well.
Government Schemes for Promotion of Sports in Gujarat
State government in Gujarat provides various schemes to promote sports. It offers assistance to players through financial aid, training facilities, sporting equipments, etc. Many schemes are running in the state that includes:
SAG Toll Free No. 1800 233 5500
- Under- 16 School competitions
- Under- 17 School Gymnastic Competition
- Eklavya Junior Award
- Under-17 Judo Competition
- State Rural Sports Competition
- Oympic Village Planning
- Jawaharlal Nehru Junior Hockey Women’s State Level Competition
- Jawaharlal Nehru Junior Hockey Men’s State Level Competition
- Patanjali Yoga Competition
- Block and district Level competitions
- Pre National Coaching Camps
- Children Sports State Level Competition
- State Women’s sports
- State Athlete Award
- State Level School Sports Competition
- Subroto Mukherjee Cup Football Under-17 Competition
- Subroto Mukherjee Cup Football Under-15 Competition
- Sardar Patel Award
- Naidu Cricket Tournament Selection Race
Khel Mahakumbh in Gujarat
Sports have ability to promote holistic development of a person. With this belief, Khel Mahakumbh is being organized in Gujarat state. This one month long extravaganza is marked by the sporting action displayed by the budding talent of state. Interestingly, this sports festival is targeted at all age groups and people from all corners of Gujarat. The main objective of this festival is to nurture sports friendly atmosphere and give platform to the sportspersons. It begins at panchayat level and subsequently, moves on to taluka level and district level. Then, winners at this level meet at state level competitions.
Age Groups Participating in Khel Mahakumbh:
This is an event where age is literally no bar for the players. Sportsmen and women from all age groups can actively participate in this event to bring out their talent. The categories for different age groups are:
- Under 11 Boys/ Girls
- Under 13 Boys/ Girls
- Under 15 Boys/ Girls
- Under 17 Boys/ Girls
- Above 45 Veterans Men/ Women
- Above 60 Veterans Men/ Women
Games Played under Khel Mahakumbh:
Since this is a major congregation of sporting events in Gujarat, many games are played during this one month. Main sports played under this event are Volleyball, Football, Skating, Kabaddi, Shooting, Volleyball, Wrestling, Chess, Hockey, Kho Kho, Badminton, Archery, Table Tennis, Judo, Basketball, Lawn Tennis, Tug of War, Taekwondo, Yoga, Swimming and Athletics, Handball.
Famous Sportspersons from Gujarat
Kiran Dabhi - Body Builder
Soham Pandya - Table Tennis
Ankita Raina - Lawn Tennis
Dhyani Dave - Chess
Parikh Mishri - Artistic Skating
Pooja Chaurishi - Triathlete
Rajinder Singh Anand - Swimming
Vahala Parita - Volleyball
Ravindra Jadeja - Cricket
Cheteshwar Pujara - Cricket
Sporting Venues in Gujarat
For better opportunities in sports, Gujarat has well laid out infrastructure as well. The state boasts of many national and international level stadiums. Even at rural levels, there are sports grounds with requisite facilities. Stadiums in Gujarat include both indoor and outdoor stadiums with huge capacity. The famous sports venues or stadiums in the state are:
Bilakhiya Stadium in Vapi:
Also called as G M Bilakhiya Cricket Stadium, it is basically cricket ground where many tournaments have been played till date. It has hosted championships like Cooch Behar Trophy. Women’s cricket test matches and ODIs are also played here.
CB Patel International Cricket Stadium in Surat:
This stadium is built over 2 lakh sq ft of land with capacity of 35000 persons. It is well designed to meet the international standards as a cricket stadium. The stadium was constructed in 2009 and inaugurated in 2011.
IPCL Sports Complex in Vadodara:
It is also called as Reliance Stadium as it is owned by Reliance Industries. It comprises of huge IPCL Sports Complex Ground at a distance of approx. 10 km from city center. It is famous as a high scoring ground for batsmen. More than 10 international ODIs have been played here. However, it has not hosted any test match.
Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot:
This cricket ground is also called as Municipal Ground or Race Course Ground. It was established in 1935 and has capacity of 15000 persons. The ground has hosted many first class and international cricket tournaments. It is one of the most popular cricket stadiums in Gujarat for hosting matches.
Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara:
This is one of the oldest stadiums in Asia. It is housed inside Lakshmi Vilas Palace complex. It has capacity of more than 18000 persons. The stadium once belonged to erstwhile Gaekwad rulers of Baroda. Now, it is owned by Baroda Cricket Association.
Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad:
It is also called Motera Stadium. This is one of the most popular cricket grounds of country. It is owned by Gujarat Cricket Association. As the largest cricket stadium of Gujarat, it has capacity for 54000 persons. It is equipped with all modern facilities including floodlights for day-night matches. This stadium was built in 1982. Many national and international tournaments like Champions Trophy and World Cup have been played on this ground.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Navrangpura Ahmedabad:
It is also called as Sports Club of Gujarat Stadium. First ODI match in India was played at this venue. Due to formation of Motera Stadium, no international matches are being played here now. Lot of domestic action with Ranji Trophy can be enjoyed at this stadium. It is owned by Ahmedabad
Municipal Corporation and has capacity of 50000 spectators.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Valsad
This is also a domestic cricket ground where matches of Ranji Trophy are played. It is owned by Bulsar District Cricket Association and comes under West Zone.
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot
It is also called as Khanderi Stadium and is located on the outskirts of Rajkot
city. It has capacity to hold 28000 spectators. It is a modern stadium with sophisticated amenities. It is a part of huge sports complex with indoor stadiums for games like badminton, volleyball, and basketball. Some of the most distinguished players have made their cricket debut from this ground.
Adventure Sports in Gujarat
Adventure sports give a major thrust to tourism industry. Hence, Gujarat government has also laid stress on developing these exhilarating and nerve wrecking sports in the state. The varied landscape of Gujarat includes sandy beaches on one hand and high hills on the other. It has excellent treks and vast expanses of desserts. In short, it is a perfect destination for an adrenaline rush.
The state offers plethora of aero and water sports for adventure enthusiasts. The better infrastructural facilities are also giving desired boost to this form of sports in Gujarat. You can enjoy para gliding, water racing, hiking, canoeing and rock climbing, in this state. Powdered sand beaches are ideal for surfing and water scooter.
Water sports can be enjoyed at the famous Narmada Dam Reservoir. It is located midway from Ahmedabad
. The water sports played here include kayaking, jet boats, rover boats, canoeing, etc. Diving sports are also anticipated at this venue. Dwarka
is another upcoming venue for adventure sports in Gujarat.
Places where Adventure sports can be enjoyed in Gujarat are:Beach Sports
at Dwarka, Ahmedpur Mandvi, Chorwad, Dummas, Tithal, Ubhraat, Chakratirth, Simmer Beach, and Nagoa BeachAero Sports
at Pavagadh, Saputara, and JunagadhRock Climbing
at Taranga, Pavagadh, and Junagadh
Cricket in Gujarat
Gujarat Cricket Association is a governing body for cricket in state. It is affiliated with BCCI and leading its way under the chairman Shri Amit Shah. Currently, Gujarat has three international stadiums located in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Vodadara. Apart from these, some cricket stadiums are located in other cities as well where domestic cricket is played. Gujarat cricket team, Saurashtra cricket team, and Baroda cricket team are the main teams from Gujarat playing in the eventful domestic tournament of Ranji Trophy.
Gujarat Cricket Team:
Gujarat Cricket Team is one of the most competitive squads in Ranji Trophy played at domestic level. Sardar Patel Stadium is the home ground of this team that plays for west zone in Duleep Trophy matches. Parthiv Patel, Nari Contractor, Akshar Patel, Jasu Patel, Ramesh Powar, Venugopal Rao and Deepak Shodhan are the renowned players from Gujarat Cricket team.
Saurashtra Cricket Team:
Saurashtra Cricket Team also actively participates in Ranji Trophy. Earlier it was used to be called as Nawanagar Cricket team. In fact, it was the winner of Ranji Trophy in the year 1936-37. Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sudeep Tyagi, and Jaydev Unadkat are the renowned players from Saurashtra team. Most of them have also played for India.
Baroda Cricket Team:
It is based in Vadodara
, sprawling under the flagship of Baroda Cricket Association. International players like Jacob Martin, Zaheer Khan, C S Nayudu, Anshuman Gaekwad, Kiran More, Irfan Pathan, Vijay Hazare, Yusuf Pathan, Ambati Rayudu, and Munaf Patel were nurtured through Baroda Cricket Team. It was the winner of Ranji Trophy in the year 1942-43, 1946-47, 1949-50, 1957-58, and 2000-01.
Badminton in Gujarat
Badminton in the state of Gujarat is making new niche in sporting activities. This game is expanding under its regulating authority, Gujarat Badminton Association. It is affiliated to Gujarat Olympic Association and Badminton Association of India which provides it recognition in sports world. The association recognizes and recommends players for higher level tournaments by conducting various competitive matches in different formats.
Anushka Parikh is a famous Badminton player from the state. In Asian Youth Badminton Championship of 2011, she brought bronze medal to her home state. Adrian George and Anjali Rawat are other famous players of this game in Gujarat.
Table Tennis in Gujarat
Gujarat State Table Tennis Association is incepted at state level to regulate development of this sport in the state. It is affiliated to governing body of country. GSTTA organizes various types of competitions to recognize young talent. For smooth working and penetration of organization in rural as well as semi urban areas, they affiliated Valsad
, Godhra, Patan
, Tapi, Dahod, Narmada, Amreli
, Rajkot, Surat
, Vallabh Vidya Nagar, Porbandar
, Deesa, Surendra Nagar, Ahmedabad, and Gandhidham
along with Bhavnagar
, Vadodara, Junagadh, Mehsana
They select national level championship from the talent hunt programs at such district level. Harmeet Desai from the state won National Junior Table Tennis Tournament and Gold medal in Brazil Open Table Tennis Championship. Other prominent table tennis players from Gujarat are Nargis Malubhai, Pathik Mehta, Divya Gohil, Sapna Sharma, and Frenaz Chippia.
Hockey in Gujarat
Gujarat State Hockey Association is the governing body for the development of hockey in this region. Popularly known as GSHA, it is responsible for supporting budding talent in the state and provide perfect environment to encourage children for participation. Gujarat Premier Hockey league in Rajkot is the new initiative that revamped the popularity of hockey in the state of Gujarat.
Tennis in Gujarat
In Gujarat, Tennis may not look like a popular sport, but the state has produced some of the finest players of this game. Recent times have seen surge in the scope of lawn tennis in the state. There are many excellent turfs provided to the tennis players.
The players like Ankita Raina and Eetee Mehta are already making their mark in this arena. Even in Under-18 tennis, Gujarat has progressed with player like Zeel Desai who won ITF Under-18 event in Thailand.
Wrestling in Gujarat
Wrestling is a traditional form of sport for all South Asian countries. In Gujarat as well, impetus has always been laid on promotion of this game. The state has its own federation named Gujarat State Wrestling Association. It organizes many wrestling tournaments at taluka, district and state level. The wrestling championships are held separately for senior men and senior women. Wrestling association is situated in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat. The famous coach, Hanifraj Shaikh also hails from Gujarat. He is the same person who coached Sushil Kumar in Asian Wrestling Championship.
Basketball in Gujarat
Basketball is also a popular sport in Gujarat. It is included in the prestigious Khel Mahakumbh as well. State level basketball championships are organized by the Association to promote young talent in this game. In fact, Sports Authority of Gujarat has taken many steps to encourage basketball at rural and district levels. The famous basketball players hailing from Gujarat include the likes of Dishant V Shah from Baroda team and Raju Sapra from Under-16 category.
Volleyball in Gujarat
Volleyball is played in Gujarat under its
sports festival, Khel Mahakumbh. In fact, the state has organized many
volleyball tournaments in which participants from all over the country
take part. Open Gujarat Volleyball Tournament is a popular event among
the players of this game. Shilpa Vala is a notable volleyball player in Gujarat. This player from Junagadh
participated in 2010 Asian Youth
Girls Championship in Malaysia. School girls from the state have also
won gold medal in volleyball tournament in Gwalior.
Kabaddi in Gujarat
Kabaddi is a popular sport in India. It is played almost in every village of the country. Even in Gujarat, there is a proper set up for this sport. The Gujarat State Kabaddi Association nurtures the raw talent to participate in national and international events. Gujarat Kabaddi team won the national championship in the year 1972. Young kabaddi players from Gujarat have represented the state in various Junior National Level Championships. Tushar Arothe from Vadodara is a famous Kabaddi player from the state. He has played for the country and won the reputed Eklavya Award for his contribution to the game.
Skating in Gujarat
Roller skating is a popular sport in Gujarat. The Gujarat State Roller Skating Association is the authority that holds many tournaments for promotion of this sport. Many leading skating events like 3rd Warrior India Invitational Quad and Inline Speed Skating Tournament have been organized in state to encourage skaters of Gujarat. Aashna Shah is a famous skater from this state.
The sports in Gujarat are flourishing under the aegis of its various associations. World class infrastructure, stadiums and lots of talent has promoted them largely in the state. The government is also focused to promote holistic development of its youth power through this powerful medium.