The highly anticipated Khelo India Youth Games 2019 will be officially commencing from today. The event will mark a new chapter in the Indian youth sports scene.
The Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Balewadi will play host to the mega event in association with some other venues in Pune and Mumbai.
Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be present for the virtual torch ceremony at Balewadi, according to a Media Release yesterday. Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be addressing the ensemble, albeit through a video message.
The event will witness some of the highly talented athletes in the country fight it out at the Games. They include Olympian athlete Jisna Mathew, India’s first Youth Olympic Games gold winning weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, World Cadet Champion Wrestlers Sonam and Anshu, India’s top-ranked women tennis players Karman Kaur Thandi, and Mahak Jain. Joining them will be the star teenage swimming sensation, Srihari Nataraj, who twice broke his 200m backstroke National Record, before finishing sixth at the 2018 Asian Games.
The young athletes will be participating in 18 different disciplines. Of these, six are team events whereas the rest of the twelve events will be individual in nature.
The Balewadi Sports Complex will play the main host for the Khelo India Youth Games 2019, having been refurbished by the State and Central Governments in recent months.
Army Sports Institute will host the Archery event whereas the football event will take place at Flame University. National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla will host the girl hockey matches while the boy’s hockey matches will be played in Mumbai.
About Khelo India
The Khelo India programme was introduced to revive the Indian sports culture at a grass-roots level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country. The aim is to establish India as a great sporting nation.
Talented players identified in the priority sports disciplines by the High-Powered Committee will receive annual financial assistance of ₹ 5 lakh per annum for a duration of 8 years.
The first edition of the Khelo India School Games, a part of the Khelo India programme, was held from 31st January to 8th February 2018 in New Delhi.
It included 16 disciplines such as Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Badminton, Basketball, Football, Gymnastics, Kabaddi, Hockey, Judo, Kho-Kho, Volleyball, Shooting, Swimming, Weightlifting, and Wrestling at the Under-17 level.
Haryana was the big winner of the last edition of the Khelo India Youth Games. The North Indian state won 102 medals- 38 gold, 26 silver, and 38 bronze, to finish at the top. Maharashtra followed closely with 110 medals.