Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 25 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur attended the third edition of Khelo India University games in Lucknow.
In the opening ceremony, he said that many foreigners come to see the Khelo India program to learn from India and implement the same in their countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the third edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2022 open via video conference at BBD University Cricket Ground in Lucknow on Thursday.
"Many foreign visitors come to see and learn how they can implement programs like Khelo India in their country too," Union Sports Minister said.
He also said that Khelo India is the largest multiple sports event in the world.
"It was PM Narendra Modi's vision to start Khelo India youth games, Khelo India university games and Khelo India winter games. Today we can say that if there is any largest multiple sports event in the world then that is Khelo India University games and Khelo India programme," Union Sports Minister said"PM Narendra Modi provided everything asked by players including coaching centres, coaches, and competitions. Sports budget increased from 874 crores to 2462 crores allotted."Anurag Thakur also mentioned that in the third edition, athletes participation has increased as this time more than 4,700 athletes completed the event. He also added that many Olympian players also participated in Khelo India.
"Earlier 3000 athletes had participated and now this time in 21 games from 208 universities 4700 athletes are coming, this is also a new achievement. Many national records have been broken in the tournament. Manu Bhaker, Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, Diya Chitale, Anshu Malik, Sagar Jaglan, Rhythm Sangwan and Mehuli Ghosh and many other players are participating who are Olympians, world champions and have won medals for India," he continued.
"Earlier, Indian athletes used to participate in only 100 events but now they are playing in more than 300 sports events, this has happened after you provided facilities""You (PM Narendra Modi) have changed the thinking of athletes, now they go with the mindset that they have to do something for India," Anurag Thakur concluded.
In the last nine years a new era of sports started in India, which is not just about making India a big power in the field, but also about empowering society through the medium of sports, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Khelo India University Games on Thursday.
Addressing the gathering through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said, "The National Educational Policy has proposed to take sports as a subject where it will become a part of the curriculum, and the construction of the country's first National Sports University will further strengthen the cause."He further added that sports is now being viewed as an attractive profession and Khelo India Abhiyan has played a big role in that.
"Our government has solved the decades-old problem of sportspersons. Today, the budget has been increased for the welfare of the players and after identifying the players, financial assistance is being given to them," PM Modi said.
The PM expressed his best wishes to the athletes competing in the Khelo India University Games and stated, "Being the MP of UP, I welcome all the players coming to UP. The organization of the Khelo India University Games will change the sports environment in the universities, and this sports festival will take the country to a new height."Stating that Uttar Pradesh has become a confluence of sporting talent today, the PM said, "All the players who have come to Khelo India have come from different states and different regions. Earlier, there used to be scams in sports and now there is a new atmosphere regarding sports in the whole country."The Khelo India University Games runs from May 25 to June 3. Four cities across Uttar Pradesh - Lucknow, Varanasi, Greater Noida and Gorakhpur - will host most events. Only the shooting events are scheduled in New Delhi. In its third edition, the games are now India's biggest multi-sport competition at the higher education level.
Khelo India University Games begins with the 'resolution of best performance'The inauguration ceremony began with the depiction of a symbolic story based on the popular religious scripture of the country, the Ramayana. It showcased the rich Indian culture and tradition on a giant octagon-shaped screen that was suspended in the air 50 feet above the ground. Along with this, special attention was given to the saga depicting the 'Guru-shishya' tradition, which has an important place in life of Indians.
The Games' mascot, Jeetu: The Barasingha, a representation of pride, was also the center of attention during this time. People started to get excited as soon as Jeetu and the mascots of the previous University Games, Jai and Vijay, entered the field. Indian Olympian athlete Padma Shri Sudha Singh, Hockey Olympian Danish Mujtaba, Commonwealth Games medalist judoka Vijay Yadav and Indian hockey player Preeti Dubey lit the torch for the Games.
"The Commonwealth Games scam showed the attitude of the previous govt towards Sports. Games which would have enhanced India's image were made scam-ridden," PM Modi said while addressing athletes of Khelo India University Games being held in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh is all set to host its biggest sporting event to date at BBD University. Over 4,000 athletes and over 200 universities will represent across 21 sports in this 10-day event. The event will conclude on June 3 at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi.
Apart from addresses by dignitaries, the program also included songs and invocations, thematic performances, torch animations and lighting of the Games Torch by a famous sports personality of the state, a fireworks display and administering of the LIFE Mission oath. The game's mascot Jeetu, inspired by the state animal 'Barasingha' will also be an integral part of the celebrations.
As per the schedule, Lucknow will host 12 sports events (Archery, Judo, Mallakhamb, Volleyball, Fencing, Badminton, Table Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Hockey, Football) at eight venues. Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) will host five sports events (Basketball, Kabaddi, Boxing, Swimming and Weightlifting) at three venues.
IIT-BHU, Varanasi will host two sports (Wrestling and Yoga), while Gorakhpur and Delhi will organize rowing and shooting events respectively. Rowing has been included in these games for the first time.
On Thursday, the torch (Mashaal) of the games, this torch will reach BBD University. Notably, four torches were lit and sent off from Lucknow along with Shubhankar Jeetu, the mascot of these games.
The four torches covered different parts of Uttar Pradesh and received a grand welcome from sportspersons and sports lovers everywhere. Meanwhile, more than five and a half lakh people registered their presence and encouraged sportspersons from various universities to participate in the Khelo India University Games 2022.
Even though the official inauguration of the Khelo India University Games will take place on Thursday, the event has already started on Thursday with Kabaddi in Gautam Budh Nagar.
The third edition of the KIUG will have over 4000 athletes from over 200 universities in the country competing in 21 sporting disciplines. Four cities of the state namely Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Noida will play host to the various sports with Delhi's Dr.Karni Singh Shooting Range hosting the Shooting competition.
Rowing, to be held at Ramgarh Taal in Gorakhpur, will also ensure the debut of water sports in this edition of the KIUG. Some prominent national-level athletes who will be seen in action in this edition of the KIUG include Manu Bhaker, Hriday Hazarika, Mehuli Ghosh, Arjun Babuta and Sift Kaur Samra in Shooting, Diya Chitale and Ananya Basak in Table Tennis, Sk. Sahil in Football, Aneesh Gowda in Swimming, Malvika Bansod in Badminton, Yash Ghangas in Judo and Priya Malik and Sagar Jaglan in Wrestling. (ANI)