The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) is an effort to promote sports development at the grass root level. It is also meant to be a showcase for the best young talent in the country. In 2018, the platform reached out to about a 100 million viewers across the country. In 2019, Star Sports doubled, both promotion and broadcast time with coverage in 5 languages including live telecast of 9 sports disciplines.
In addition to the Under 17 age group, this year, the scope was expanded to include the Under 21 age category as well. A total of 1,312 medals (403 Golds, 403 Silvers and 506 Bronze) were on offer across 18 disciplines including both individual and team sport. The 2019 edition held in Pune featured about 10,000 participants which included 5,925 male & female athletes from across 29 States and 7 Union Territories. In addition, 893 Technical Officials, 1,500 Officials, 1,096 Support Staff, 36 Chef-de-missions and 1,010 Volunteers supported the effort on the ground.
The Khelo India platform is unique also in the sense that it brings together (under one roof and unites a common purpose) different arms of Indian sports including Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Sports Authority of India (SAI), National Sports Federations, Association of Indian Universities and School Games Federation of India.
Host state, Maharashtra emerged on the top with a total medal haul of 227 including 85 Golds. The state of Haryana, who topped the medal ranking in 2018, was second with a total of 178 medals including 62 Golds. In third place was Delhi with 136 medals including 48 Golds.
Some interesting statistics:
(#1) India has about 302 million students (10 - 21 years age group) enrolled in our educational system of which 5,925 featured at the KIYG 2019. This itself is the story of why grassroot sports development should be the top most priority for India.
(#2) The Top 10 States (as above) bagged 84% of the total Gold medals (403) and 75% of the total Silver medals (403) on offer across 18 sports disciplines.
(#3) The Top 5 States (Maharashtra + Haryana + Delhi + Karnataka + Tamil Nadu) bagged 54% of the total medals (1,312) on offer.
(#4) The Top 3 States (Maharashtra + Haryana + Delhi) bagged 48% of the total Gold medals (403) on offer.
(#5) In the overall tally, only 8 States won more than 50 medals while 28 States (out of 36 total) bagged less than 50 medals each.
(#6) 7 Indian States (including UTs) did not win a single medal and these included Sikkim, Puducherry, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Lakshadweep, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar.
(#7) 7 States won more than 20 Golds, while 9 States won more than 15 Silvers and 14 States won more than 10 Bronze medals at the KIYG 2019
(#8) 11 States won less than 10 medals each, while the Bottom 20 States accounted for only 11% of the total medals available.
(#9) The cluster of Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana accounted for 27% of the medal tally. On the other hand the Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa cluster bagged 22% of the total medals. This group of 6 States therefore won 49% of the total medals at KYIG 2019.
(#10) Out of a total medal haul (178 medals), Haryana won 109 medals from Boxing & Wrestling. This included 42 of their 62 Gold medals.
(#11) Out of a total medal haul (77 medals), Karnataka won 51 medals in Swimming. This included 21 of their 30 Gold medals. Similarly other states dominated in specific sports including Manipur (Football), Bengal (Gymnastics), Delhi (Judo & Shooting), Kerala (Athletics)
In conclusion, Khelo India is a step in the right direction. If India has to emerge as a dominant power in world sport, we need to focus on a five point agenda that includes: