Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Kiren Rijiju

U21 Khelo India Women's Hockey League to be conducted by Hockey India

Shiv Dhawan

What's the story?

On March 5, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced the under 21 (U21) Khelo India Women's League. Khelo India is the government's national programme for the development of sports in India. Recently, the Khelo India University Games which were deemed to be a massive success were conducted.


In case you didn't know

The Sports Authority of India will conduct the tournament in association with Hockey India. The tournament is scheduled to be conducted in three different phases at three different venues. The tournament will begin on March 23 as the first phase will be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the country's capital from March 23 to March 29.

The caravan would then move to the center of the Sports Authority of India in Bengaluru, the second phase would be conducted from July 13 to July 19. The final phase is scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar which has hosted all of India's recent games. The final phase would be held from November 22 to November 29.

The heart of the matter

Sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju talked about the government's effort to create talent identification platforms for athletes. Recently, the government has introduced many schemes for the betterment of sports in India. The government is working to improve the condition of sports in India from the grassroot level.

"The effort of the government is to create talent identification platforms for athletes from multiple sports through the Khelo India Scheme."

Kiren Rijiju also spoke about the lack of women's U21 competitions happening in India at the moment. The government has introduced this league in a bid to identify and unearth more talent in the U21 category.

"I am sure this league will bring forth many talented hockey players."

What's next?

The league will be conducted in a round-robin format in which 14 teams would be divided in two groups of seven each for the first two phases. All the teams would face other teams from their group once thus playing six matches. The third phase of the league will be held on the basis of the results of the first two phases. The tournament is slated to begin on March 23.

Edited by A. Ayush Chatterjee
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