New Delhi: In a first for a sporting talent identification event, the government has declared the Khelo India Games as an event of national importance.
The Khelo India Games, which include Khelo India School Games, Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India University Games, Khelo India Games for differently-abled persons and Khelo lndia Games for Indigenous Sports, have been identified as events of national importance.
With this, the host broadcaster of the Games, Star Sports, will now mandatorily share the feed of the tournament with Doordarshan so that youngsters even in the most remote areas of the country who may not have access to cable networks can watch the Games and be inspired to take up sports.
Star Sports will telecast the Games, slated to start on January 10 in Guwahati live for eight hours in Hindi and regional languages on each day of the competition as part of an agreement the broadcaster has with the Sports Authority of India.
"Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Khelo India Games is not just an event, it is a movement. Promoting sports and fitness among the youth and sensitizing parents to motivate young athletes to pursue a sporting dream is a first step towards making India a sporting superpower. The Khelo India Games being declared events of national importance is a significant step towards achieving that goal. It is also a matter of great pride for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. I am confident that this move will inspire more youngsters to step up and pursue sports seriously," said Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Around 6,800 athletes are expected to participate in the third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games. The athletes will take part in a total of 20 sports with lawn ball and cycling being the new additions to the Games. The officials of the tournament have ensured that all the preparations for the competition have been carried out efficiently.
The opening ceremony will take place at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on Friday before the athletes start participating in the competitive events.