Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Sunday said the Centre will soon plan to observe National Marathon Day.
Addressing a huge gathering of runners who had come to participate in the Raipur Half Marathon held at Naya Raipur, Goel said, “keeping in view the historical success of Raipur Half Marathon, Centre will soon plan to observe National Marathon Day.”
“We all want, whenever the National Marathon Day will be held, people should run together in their locality, village and city, for ‘Swachhta’ (cleanliness), health, ‘Digital Bharat’ and taking country ahead (in the path of development),” said the Minister.
Around 15,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon.
Goel also called upon parents and teachers to encourage students and children to participate in sports activities.
The Centre is seriously considering the proposal to link sports with education.
Sports will boost the health of the masses and will reduce the expenditure on health, he said.
The Minister further informed that the sports ministry has decided start a 'Talent Search Portal’ intended to give a fair opportunity to talented children from every nook and corner of the country to pursue their dreams of achieving excellence in sports.
Details of the performance and potential of a child including video and photographs could be uploaded on the portal by children, their parents, relatives, teachers and others on the portal, Goel added.
Congratulating Chhattisgarh for organising the Half Marathon, he said Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) regional office will soon be set up here.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh announced to soon start an ‘Athletics Academy’ in the state.
The status of other sports is good and satisfactory in the state but today people have displayed their enthusiasm toward athletics by taking part in a large number in the Half Marathon. Keeping this in view, an athletics academy will be launched in the state soon, Singh said.
Next year also the Half-Marathon will be organised and the target will be to involve 40,000 people in the run, he added.
Legendary athlete Milkha Singh and wrestler Geeta Phogat were among the other dignitaries present during the event.