Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), formerly known as the Khelo India School Games (KISG) are the national level multidisciplinary grassroot games held in India. The name “Khelo India” literally translates into “Play India”, and the multisport event is named as such to promote the spirit and importance of sports and athletics at a young age. The games are held in two categories: under-17 years (for school students) and under-21 years (for college students), and cover over 18 different disciplines in two categories.
The Games also feature a Training of Trainers programme to facilitate the preparation of the trainers who will be tutoring the future stars. From the Games, every year around 1000 youth will be awarded a scholarship of ₹500,000 for eight years in order to prepare them for international sporting events.
The Khelo India Youth Games 2019 will be held from the 9th of January to the 20th of the same month and will be hosted by the state of Maharashtra. More than 10,000 participants are expected to take part from 29 states and 7 Union Territories.
The KIYG is a new initiative by the government and was introduced in 2018. The first edition of the Games was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st January 2018 at the Indira Gandhi Arena in New Delhi. Haryana emerged as the top team in inaugural edition, which is otherwise considered as a sports powerhouse despite the small size of the state. The team managed a total of 102 medals with 38 gold medals. They were followed closely by Maharashtra (111 medals with 36 gold) and Delhi (94 medals with 25 gold).
The Khelo India Youth Games have the motto of “Kheloge Kudoge Banoge Lajawaab”, which encourages more kids to play everyday and increase the interest and participation of the youth in sports.
The mascots for KIYG 2019 are ‘Vijay the Tiger’ and ‘Jaya the Black Buck. The Royal Bengal Tiger is well known as the national animal of India and the Black Buck is a protected species of antelopes found in India.
The Games will be primarily held in the city of Pune in Maharashtra. The Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi will be the primary venue of the multisport event. The other venues for the events are listed below:-
Athletes to Watch Out For
There several talented youngster in the country who will be looking to make the most of the Khelo India Youth Games 2019. The biggest draws are Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhury, Mehuli Ghosh (shooting); Jisna Mathew (athletics); Jeremy Lalrinnunga (weightlifting); and Srihari Nataraj (swimming).