An aspirational, sporting and young India will find complete representation in the Khelo India Youth Games, which will be held here from January 9. The 6000-plus athletes will truly reflect the diversity of the nation’s youth and showcase their dreams, their hopes and their desire to make India shine on global platforms.
They will not only come from urban and rural areas from the 29 States and seven Union Territories but also span a wide range of ages – from 10 to 21 years. Some like Jisna Mathew, who was part of the Indian team in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, will come with experience. Backstroke swimming specialist Srihari Nataraj has already been to the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
On the contrary, three 10-year-old athletes – footballer Pratima Kumar (Jharkhand), Mizoram hockey player Laltlanchhungi and West Bengal’s 10m air rifle shooter Abhinav Shaw, who became India’s youngest National shooting gold medallist in November last – will pick up their first experience of competing in a large-scale multidiscipline event.
The 6000-odd athletes will compete in 18 different disciplines, including a variety of individual and team sport, disciplines in which India has a tradition of excellence and traditional games like kabaddi and kho-kho. Yet, you can be sure that these athletes will be bound by the common ambition of making India proud with their pursuit of competitive sport.
No matter which part of India he or she comes from or which discipline he or she has chosen to compete in, there athletes will be driven to excel so that television broadcasts and web streams will make them earn plaudits from sports fans across the country. Those who competed in the Khelo India School Games (KISG2018) enjoyed the experience.
It is not just that. The Khelo India Youth Games, like the KISG2018, will be the beacon that will proclaim India’s unity in diversity, by bringing together diverse stakeholders. It is evidence of the fact that the wheels are cranking together and ensuring that Indian sport takes wings and soars higher.
From the Ministry to the Indian Olympic Association, from the Sports Authority of India to the National Sports Federations, from the Association of Indian Universities to the School Games Federation of India, Khelo India Games brings many arms of Indian sport together on one platform. No other sporting event binds all of these like the Khelo India Games does.