Khelo India aims to groom sports culture

SPORTS REPORTER
Tuesday, 8 January 2019

“Maharashtra already has been a land of sports and sporting legends who have made a mark on history. Legends like Khashaba Jadhav, India’s first individual Olympics medalist, Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Bhagwat and many more are the heroes that have graced our nation’s sporting legacy so to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games it is real honour,” said the Maharashtra Sports Minister Vinod Tawde.

Mumbai: In this age of technology, where youth is increasingly entangled in the clutches of cyber slavery, Khelo India Youth Games beginning at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday is an attempt to groom a strong sports culture in the country.

“Maharashtra already has been a land of sports and sporting legends who have made a mark on history. Legends like Khashaba Jadhav, India’s first individual Olympics medalist, Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Bhagwat and many more are the heroes that have graced our nation’s sporting legacy so to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games it is real honour,” said the Maharashtra Sports Minister Vinod Tawde.

This mammoth sporting extravaganza being organised at various venues in Pune and Mumbai will be held from January 9 to 20.

One of the largest ever congregation of sportspersons and officials, numbering around 12000, from all over the country, in the age groups of Under-17 and Under-21 will participate in 18 sporting disciplines, from which the champions will then be identified and provided with financial and infrastructural assistance to achieve their sporting aspirations.

“We bid for the games and were then picked from the three finalists, thanks to the wonderful multi-sports infrastructure at the Shiv Chhatrapati Stadium, Pune,” Tawde added.

A total outlay of Rs 40 crores has been spent for the Khelo India Youth Games, from which 80 percent of the expenditure has been towards refurnishing the existing sports infrastructure. The Central Government has funded up to 50 per cent of that expenditure, said the Maharashtra Sports Minister.

The Games will features well over 10,000 athletes, officials, managers and volunteers with visiting athletes and officials all staying in hotels in and around Pune.

The Balewadi sports complex will be the main venue, while archery will be held at the Army Sports Institute and Girls hockey matches will be at the NDA hockey ground in Pune. Football matches will be played at the Flame University ground and the police ground in Shivajinagar.

Youth Olympics gold medallists in shooting, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, as well as weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, will be among the cream of India’s young sporting talent competing at these Games.

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