Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday launched the Khelo India Youth Games -2021 in Haryana’s Panchkula as the venue was lit up with vibrant colourful lights during the inauguration ceremony.
The fourth edition of games will be held from June 4 till June 13 and the events will not only be held at Tau Devi Lal Sports Stadium in Panchkula but also in Chandigarh, Ambala, Shahabad and Delhi as well.
The ‘Khelo India Youth Games-2021’, is being jointly organized by Haryana government and Sports Authority of India (SAI), Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Over 4,700 athletes including 2,262 girls will fight for gold and glory in 25 exciting sports including five traditional sports traditional games like Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta, Malkhamb and Yogasana.
For the first time in the Khelo India Games, a state-wide torch relay was also organised by Haryana. The specially designed canters toured all the districts and promoted sports and encouraged children to take up sports.
The flame was lit after an entry into the stadium, from where the torch relay was flagged off 25 days earlier. During this, the athletes took an Olympic-style oath to respect and follow the rules of the game and vowed to keep the spirit of fair play.
At the Tau Devi Lal sports stadium, the state’s sports expo has been set up, where the players are closely watching the cradle to medal and achiever’s arena of Haryana.
In the achiever arena, from Kapil Dev to Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, other medalists including Olympian and Haryana Sports Minister Sardar Sandeep Singh and Sakshi Malik, Saina Nehwal, Yogeshwar Dutt, Geeta Phogat, Deepa Malik and cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal etc where their success story is being highlighted.
Notably, in the games, Indian ancient martial art ‘Gatka’ competitions is also the center of attraction as boys’ and girls’ ‘Gatka’ teams from 16 states will show their fighting skills.
National Gatka Association of India, president Harjeet Singh Grewal, said apart from 25 games having Olympic status, martial art ‘Gatka’ has also become a part of KIYG this time.
“It is a matter of pride that for the first time, the Union Sports Ministry has recognized Gatka as a competitive sport in national level sports,” he said, adding a total 256 Gatka players participating in different events would compete for 80 medals.
With the start of the games, Haryana continued to dominate on the second day as Haryana boys and girls beat Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in straight sets in the tough competition of volleyball.