What's the story?
Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) Kiren Rijiju has announced that there will now be a Khelo India Winter Games in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir.
The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) was started back in 2018 and there have already been three editions of the flagship sports event that aims to unearth raw sporting talent in the country.
KIYG features school students as well as Under-21 college students. In order to help them prepare for various international sporting events, the top 1000 children from each edition are given an annual scholarship of ₹5 lakh for a period of eight years.
The third edition of KIYG recently concluded in Guwahati, Assam.
After the highly successful KIYG, the Sports Ministry had said that there will also be a Khelo India University Games (KIUG). The first edition of KIUG will take place at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar between February 22 to March 1.
The heart of the matter
Adding fuel to the growth of sports in the country, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has now announced that there will also be a Khelo India Winter Games (KIWG). Ladakh will host KIWG in the third week of February while there will also be a similar event in Jammu and Kashmir in the first week of March. The Sports Ministry will be funding both these KIWGs.
Around 1700 athletes from across the country are expected to take part in KIWG Ladakh. They will feature in sports such as figure skating, open ice hockey championship, and speed skating. The competition will be on block, district, and Union Territory levels.
Meanwhile, Kongdori in Gulmarg will host the KIWG J&K in four age categories for both girls and boys. The age groups will be 13-14 years, 15-16 years, 17-18 years, and 19-21 years. KIWG J&K is expected to host around 841 athletes from around the country.
Speaking on these latest developments, Kiren Rijuju stated (as per PTI):
"There is no better means than sport to channelise energy of youth in right direction. We have included disciplines like Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, that are part of Olympics, and with time we may also be able to produce champions in these disciplines in India. I am happy to announce the initiation of yet another Khelo India Games."
This will be the third Khelo India Games in 2020. The Sports Minister has also shed light on the possibility of Khelo India Indigenous Games in the near future. Regardless, Khelo India Winter Games comes as a great move to promote winter sports in the country and also popularize them.Published 13 Feb 2020, 15:48 IST