Sport

Khelo India Youth Games off to a colourful start

Vijay, the Games mascot.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

Sheer energy marked the inauguration of the Khelo India Youth Games at the cosy indoor badminton hall of the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Wednesday.

While the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and the Union Sports Minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, delivered inspiring speeches, the colourful and artistic presentation, beautifully spread out on the electronic canvas, took everyone’s breath away.

While the motivation of the Maharashtra government in hosting the games was to liberate the kids from ‘cyber slavery’, how well modern technology can be utilised to give wings to imagination was on view. The hosts also gave pride of place on the stage for the prominent young sportspersons along with their parents.

Let’s play! Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at the inauguration.

Let’s play! Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at the inauguration.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

 

Rathore reiterated that 1000 athletes from the 10,000 participating in the Youth Games, featuring the under-17 and 21 competitions, would get five lakh for five years. The financial guarantee has brought many world-class athletes here to showcase their wares in front of high-definition cameras that would beam around 100 hours of ‘live’ coverage across the country, urging the youngsters to take sports more seriously and forcing the parents to let them play more.

Fadnavis announced an enhanced financial support from the government, running into many crores of rupees, for projects to create sports facilities across the State. The Maharashtra CM also announced that a Sports University was taking shape in Aurangabad.

The inauguration started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message, read by the Sports Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, emphasising the significance of sports in nation building.

Rathore thanked Maharashtra for taking up the task of hosting an event that had grown from being a platform for 3500 athletes to around 10,000 participants in its second edition.

Rathore also emphasised that the new mantra — playing is mandatory — underlined the point that a person becomes strong by playing, leading to a strong nation.

Rathore took the pledge on behalf of the athletes.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 9:17:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/khelo-india-youth-games-off-to-a-colourful-start/article25953085.ece

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