Panaji, Sep 21: Goa Government is yet to decide on hosting the coveted National Games-2011 ''in the larger interest of the State and its people''.
Disclosing this after presenting the ''Geno Sports Awards'' to the meritorious sportspersons for the year 2000-07 here today, chief minister Digambar Kamat said the government could not take immediate decision on hosting the National Games as it involved huge financial outlay.
''I am personally for the National Games. But as chief minister, my decision has to be guided by all sections of the society in the larger interest of the State and its merit as it involved huge financial outlay and other factors. I can't let the people of Goa down,'' Mr Kamat said.
Referring to encouragement of sports in the state, the chief minister said the people required the ''spark, zeal, will and consistency'' to develop sports on their own. Goa however continued to be in the forefront of sports compared to other states, he said.
Without these, the availability of huge infrastructure and a rational sports policy were of no avail. In this connection, he cited the example of tardy growth in Agriculture in Goa despite having huge irrigation resources and incentives for the sector over the years.
The Chief Minister further announced that the government would come out with a comprehensive sports policy within a month, possibly by October 10 with the exercise of framing it on.
''If sports is to grow, it should be left to the sportspersons like the education to the educationists, not the politicians,'' Mr Kamat observed.
The best sportsperson award was presented to Anurag Mhamal (chess), best sportswoman award to Natasha Palha (tennis), the best coach award to Nitin Vernekar (cricket) and the best organiser award to Sameer A Salgaocar (Chess).
Sports editor of a local English daily Jovito Lopes was felicitated by the Chief Minister for his contribution to sports journalism in this connection.
The event was organised by the Sports Journalists Association of Goa in collaboration with the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG).
Renowned industrialist and Managing Director of Geno Pharmaceuticals Dilip Salgaonkar who presided and the Executive Director of SAG Mr V M Prabhudessai spoke on the occasion.