Panchkula: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday evening inaugurated the Khelo India Youth Games-2021 here.
The games will be organised from June 4 till June 13.
Around 8,500 players, coaches and support staff from across the country are participating in the fourth edition of ‘Khelo India Youth Games’.
Speaking on this occasion at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Shah said the Khelo India programme has been successful in giving a platform to players across the country in four years as he lauded the Modi-led government for the same.
He stated that he was happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a chance to Haryana for holding these games this time, saying it is the sports capital of the country.
Those in school can take part in Khelo India Youth Games and in college can take part in Khelo India University games. If you perform well, no one can stop you from performing at national and international tournaments,” Shah said.
He also lauded the players from Haryana for getting medals for the country at national and international levels.
Shah also took the names of players such as Virender Singh, Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh, Rani Rampal, Ramesh Kumar and several other players who got medals and said every citizen is proud of them.
He said that these games are not only a competition but also a ladder for the Indian players to take them to important positions at the global level.
Shah said that the budget of the sports department which was Rs 866 crore in 2014 has now risen to Rs 1,993 crore in 2022.
“If we see Olympic medals, in 2016 we won two medals and in 2021 the tally rose to seven,” he said.
In the Paralympics, the country won 4 medals in 2016 and it increased to 19 in 2021.
He further said for the first time, in the Thomas Cup, India won a gold medal.
On this occasion, Union Sports minister Anurag Thakur, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other senior leaders were also present.
Thakur while describing Haryana as a land of champions in sports, said that hardly any other state has given so many medals to the country.
He said the vision of starting Khelo India Youth Games and India University Games was that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Minister Khattar said considering the stupendous achievements of the sportspersons of the state on the national and international stage and the state of the art sports infrastructure of Haryana, the central government this time has chosen Haryana to host the fourth edition of ‘Khelo India Youth Games-2021’ .
Khattar thanked the PM for choosing Haryana for this grand sports festival.
He said 8,500 sportspersons and technical officers from all the States and Union Territories of the country are participating in the grand sports festival in which a total of 25 sports including 5 indigenous games would be held.
Starting from Saturday, various sports events would be held till June 13.
These sports events will be organized in Panchkula as well as in Ambala, Shahbad, Delhi, and Chandigarh, informed Khattar.
Popular Punjabi and Hindi Rapper Dilin Nair, popularly known as Raftaar, performed as a showstopper during the opening ceremony, enthralling the people in the Tau Devi Lal stadium.
Raftaar enlivened the evening with his magical Khelo India anthem ‘Ab Ki Baar Haryana’, leaving everyone cheering.
The popular mascots of Khelo India Youth Games, ‘Vijaya -the Tiger and Jaya -the Blackbuck’ danced in the arena.
However, the loudest applause and enthusiasm was seen for Haryana’s own mascot ‘Dhaakad the Bull’. It was taken to the stadium on a tractor with the anthem ‘Hum, Hum, Hum- Khelo India’.
For the first time in the Khelo India games, a state-wide torch relay was also organised by Haryana.
During this, the athletes took an Olympic style oath to respect and follow the rules of the game and vowed to keep the spirit of fair play.