Indian women's hockey captain Rani Rampal believes Khelo India University Games will help in identifying new raw talent
The Indian women's hockey team skipper Rani Rampal has expressed her belief that the Khelo India University Games will help in recognizing raw talent from across the country. Following the success of the Khelo India Youth Games, the inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) will be hosted by the Government of Odisha from 22 February to 1 March 2020, with over 4,000 athletes from 100 universities vying for the top honors.
The 25-year-old, who recently won the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019 and got conferred with the Padma Shri award, heaped praise on the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for launching KIUG. She said that the event will provide a spotlight to the upcoming stars at the university level.
I firmly believe that the Khelo India University Games is a great initiative by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. They (the ministry) first started the Khelo India Youth Games and now the Khelo India Universities Games, which is really amazing when you look from the global perspective.
The current skipper of the Indian women's team, Rampal made her senior debut at the age of just 14 years, which made her the youngest player in the Indian hockey team then. She highlighted the fact that such university-level games could yield world-class athletes, the way they are in developed countries like the US.
Majority of the athletes in other countries play sports internationally after playing at least some form of university-level games, and now that we are implementing similar strategies here in India, we will be able to find many more talented players at the university level, just like we are finding talented youth via the Khelo India Youth Games.
After returning from their New Zealand tour, which ended with mixed results, Rampal will be looking to help her team register some wins in the build-up to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Published 13 Feb 2020, 21:31 IST