Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first Khelo India School Games in national capital and exhorted the nation to usher in a sporting revolution.
The mission aims to develop a sporting culture in the country, identify talents from grassroots and groom them for international success.
'Kheloge kudoge toh banoge lajawab' the motto of the Khelo India programme rang true as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Khelo India School Games. A special laser torch lit the virtual light of the games. Prime Minister stressed that India does not lack sporting talent. India is a youthful nation and can do even better in sports. His emphasis was on overall development and making sports a priority.
Khelo India is not only about winning medals. It is an effort to give strength to a mass movement for playing more. The focus is on every aspect that would make sports more popular across the nation. Prime Minister said that it is gladdening to see youngsters from rural India and smaller cities excelling as sportspersons. He said that Khelo India would provide support to players and coaches alike.
The legendary Indian tradition of 'teacher-and-student', referred to as the 'Guru-Shishya Parampara' was also celebrated in grand style at the opening ceremony. The likes of PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Baichung Bhutia and many more Gurus participated with their pupils.
This government initiative focuses on reviving the sports culture at the grassroots and establishing the country as a sporting nation. A performance on the history and heritage of sports in India showcased indigenous games as well as Martial arts. In keeping with Prime Minister's vision, Khelo India is expected to help find young talent from the schools in various disciplines and groom them as future sports champions.
It is clear that these games will highlight India's young sporting talent and showcase India's sports potential. The hope is to mentor talent and to convert it into Olympic medals by 2024. The systematic long term approach of Khelo India most certainly marks a new dawn for the world of sports in India.
The National Capital plays host to the Khelo India School Games, being organised for the first time. This national level event is for under-17 players. It will see various disciplines being held at venues like Jawahar lal Nehru Stadium, Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, Karni Singh Shooting Range and SPM Swimming Complex. 16 teams from north, south and northeast India will be vying for glory during these games.
There will be 16 sporting events like Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabbaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weight Lifting and Wrestling.
Under Khelo India Games, around 20 crore children in age group of 10 to 17 years will also be engaged into national Physical Fitness Campaign and the Khelo India School Games is only the beginning of this journey.
These games will also include an All India-level Sports Scholarship which will provide an annual scholarship of five lakh rupees to every athlete selected under the scheme for a period of eight years.
Starting from 31st January, this event will culminate on 8th February.
Students are greatly enthused to have got this opportunity to showcase their talent.
A total of 197 gold medals, 197 silver medals and 273 bronze medals will be at stake for the players. Around 3500 athletes, 1250 officials, 800 volunteers and 250-strong other workforce will be participating in this event to make it a grand success. These games will pave the way for the young talent in sports to come out in open and let the world know that the future belongs to them.