By Our Sports Affairs Bureau
NEW DELHI/CUTTACK: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Khelo India University Games on Saturday at Cuttack in Odisha via video link. Addressing on the occasion, Prime Minister said that today is not just the beginning of a tournament but the beginning of the next phase of the sports movement in India. Here you are not only competing with each other, but also with yourself. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union PNG-Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Sports Minister Kirren Rijju, Odisha Sports Minister Sushant Behera and Higher Education Minister Arun Sahu graced the occasion.
“I am connected with you through technology, but I can experience the atmosphere the enthusiasm, the passion and the energy there. The first Khelo India University Games in India’s history are starting today in Odisha. This is a historic moment in India’s sports history. It is also a big step for the future of India’s sports”, Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister added that Khelo India campaign has played an important role in increasing interest towards sports and recognition of young talent in every corner of the country.When the Khelo India Games started in the year 2018, 3500 players took part in it. But in just three years the number of players has almost doubled to more than 6 thousand.
“This year, Khelo India Schools Games has broken 80 records. Out of which 56 records have been in the names of our daughters, our daughters have won, our daughters have done wonders. The important thing is that the talent coming up under this campaign is not from the big city, but from small towns”, Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister mentioned that since the past 5-6 years sincere efforts have been made for the promotion and participation of sports in India. Transparency is being promoted in identification of talent, training and selection process.
“These are the players who are likely to take part in the Tokyo Olympics. The players benefiting from this scheme have given more than 200 medals to the country in several sporting events such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Asian Para Games, Youth Olympics. In the coming days, the goal is to win more than 200 Gold medals, and more importantly to improve your own performance and to give new heights to your own potential”, Prime Minister said.