New Delhi: After the resounding success of the first edition, the Khelo India School Games, the grassroots level hunt for sportspersons from across the country, is back in a bigger and better form.
In its second edition, the games have expanded in its scope, and will allow participants to compete in two categories, (Under 17) and (Under 21), this year.
In its new form, the games, which will be known as the Khelo India Youth Games, also allows students from colleges and Universities to compete.
The other highlight of this year’s games is that the national-level competition is moving out of the Capital and will be held in Maharashtra, which bid for the games, along with Assam and Jharkhand. This time, the games will be held in Pune, known as the city of students, from January 9 – January 20, 2019.
The first official announcement and jersey launch of the KIYG, Maharashtra, 2019, took place in a ceremony in Delhi today. The event was attended by Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and other ministers.
The highlight of the event was the presence of eight young athletes several of them products of Khelo India School Games, who have bagged medals at international events.
Weightlifter Jeremy Lalirinunga, shooters Manu Bhaker, Esha Gupta, Laksya Sheoran, Saurabh Chaudhury, swinner Srihari Nataraj and Judo player Tababai Devi, badminton player Lakshya Sen, sported the new jersey and personified the very essence of the reach and impact that the games have had.
Speaking at the event, Rathore said, “We want to create an ecosystem of sports in the country and ensure that our young athletes can get an international-level platform, through which they can showcase their sporting talent.”
“Last year 3500 young athletes had participated in the games, but this year the number has almost tripled with 9000 athletes. We will not only reach out to more talented young athletes, we will also identify more talent and groom them to represent the country. I am confident that by 2028 Olympics, China will find it difficult to compete with us.”