The countdown has begun for one of the most ambitious sports meets to be organised in India, the Khelo India School Games 2018. Part of the Khelo India programme, the games will begin with an opening ceremony to be held in New Delhi on 31 January.
Under-17 athletes will participate across 16 disciplines, including archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, football and many more during the games to held from 31 January-8 February.
R-Day Boost For Khelo India School Games
The Khelo India programme received a huge fillip when its tableau for the Republic Day parade was adjudged the best this year on Sunday, barely four days before the opening of the School Games.
Here is how Olympian-turned-Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore reacted on Twitter.
It is a proud moment for team MYAS. It motivates us to keep giving our best to the nation! A BIG thanks to the people for all their love & support! pic.twitter.com/HRGdWuFDoq
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) January 28, 2018
Rathore, whose brainchild this programme is, was among those who stood up to applaud the tableau when it came down the Rajpath during the parade on Friday.
On Sunday, it was time for the Khelo India Carnival at Central Park in New Delhi’s Connaught Place.
A sporting movement is ready to unfold!
Our Hon'ble Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore graced the #KheloIndia Carnival today. His interactions with the kids not only motivated them but also proved that in this movement we are all together. #SaathMeinHainHum @Ra_THORe pic.twitter.com/ArIbVtLZeS
— Khelo India (@kheloindia) January 28, 2018
Massive Participation In Khelo India School Games
Over 3,000 athletes will take part in the opening ceremony of the Khelo India School Games in New Delhi. The ceremony will also see the involvement meritorious athletes including World Junior Champion shooter Anish Bhanwala and World Youth Weightlifting Championship silver medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga.
The inaugural edition, which is scheduled for 16 venues, will be joined by prominent sports personalities like national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, Olympic Medallists PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, MC Mary Kom and Leander Paes, 2016 Rio Paralympian Deepa Malik, Olympic gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Indian Football Captain Sunil Chettri, former India Hockey Captain Sardar Singh and two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar along with Rathore.
The athletes, who will showcase their team spirit and talent, will come from all 36 states and Union Territories.
Athletics A Big Draw At Khelo India School Games
With 199 gold medals to win in its inaugural edition, athletics will have the largest participation, with 640 boys and girls competing for 36 gold medals. Swimming will feature 592 competitors seeking to claim the 35 gold medals that are up for grabs.
Wrestling, with 30 gold medals, takes the third spot with 480 grapplers, while boxing with 26 gold medals is the other sport in which more than 400 participants are expected to contend for honours. Gymnastics, whose popularity skyrocketed, after Dipa Karmakar’s spectacular and unprecedented show in the Commonwealth Games 2014 and Olympic Games 2016, will have 84 competitors.
The Khelo India School Games, organised in collaboration with the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) and the national sports federations, will be broadcast by Star Sports.
The Khelo India Anthem
The Khelo India anthem, which has reached millions across digital platforms, was unveiled on 15 January by the Sports Minister along with Managing Director Star India Sanjay Gupta at a press event in New Delhi on 15 January. The anthem has been composed by Louis Bank.
The Sports Minister had earlier launched the simple yet vibrant Khelo India logo at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on 6 January. He said that he was delighted that many chose the colours of the national flag for the logo design that had been crowd-sourced.
Khelo India To Promote Sports Culture
The government has described the Khelo India programme as an attempt to build a strong framework for all sports played in our country, thereby, reviving the sports culture in India at the grass-root level. The ambitious programme aims to cover about 20 crore children in the age group of 10 to 18 in a national physical fitness drive and support them suitably to achieve the target.
The Ministry of Sports has said that a “new Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme”, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across selected sport disciplines, will be introduced. Each athlete selected under the scheme will receive an annual scholarship of Rs 5,00,000 for eight consecutive years.