BHUBANESWAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the opening ceremony of the country’s first-ever Khelo India University Games which will kick off at Cuttack’s Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The PM will declare the games open via video conferencing. One of the biggest sporting events in terms of participation and scale, the Khelo India University Games are being launched by the Centre in association with the Government of Odisha which has now earned a name for hosting big-ticket sporting events.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju will remain present when Modi officially throws the games open.
A brain child of the Prime Minister, the programme was introduced to revive sports culture in the country at the grass-roots level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
Beginning Saturday, the Khelo India University Games will become the largest ever competition to be held held at the university level in India where close to 4,000 athletes from over 150 universities across the country will compete for 207 gold, 207 silver, and 287 bronze medal-events. It will culminate on March 1 at Bhubaneswar. The games will see competition in 17 sports disciplines including archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.
Sports and Youth Services Department of Odisha and KIIT University, the hosts, have mounted massive arrangements across venues in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for smooth conduct of the games.