Monday, January 7, 2019

Pune to embrace Khelo India Games


PUNE: Maharashtra is all geared up to host the second edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, which will officially begin on January 9 in Pune, with "improved"sports infrastructure, including an upgraded shooting range.

Maharashtra Sports Minister Vinod Tawde today said competitions will take place in 18 different disciplines and over 900 athletes from the host state will take part in these Games. "It is an honour for Maharashtra to host these games. We got some funds from the Centre and the state government also chipped in to refurbish sports infrastructure at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.”

"All the stadiums have been upgraded. Electronic and digital targets have been fitted at the shooting range," said the minister. "Around 14,000 persons, including 9,000 sportspersons and 4,000 managers, will be coming for the Games. The accommodation of players has been made in good hotels in and around Pune and not in dormitories," said Tawde.

According to the minister, last year Maharashtra was ranked second. "This time, those who were selected for Khelo India from the state (Maharashtra) got special training for 8 or 15 days depending on their discipline. "Because of Khelo India, these sportspersons will be identified at a young age, get training and scholarship, which will benefit them in their career," added Tawde.

According to Tawde, today's young generation has become "cyber-slaves" and Khelo India in Maharashtra will start a "movement against cyber-slavery. We want to develop sports culture in school kids, college youth, so we have started appealing to schools and colleges to have one evening in a week as no gadget evening," the minister informed.

Meanwhile, Tawde also dwelt on the work done by his ministry. "We have decided to grant 10 to 20 marks extra in the final exams for those who play school games and give 5 per cent reservation in government jobs for those who participate at national level competitions. "Those who will win medals at the international level will be directly given jobs," he said.

Officials said since there are many teams for hockey, their matches have started here from Monday, so that they end by January 20. They said while the Balewadi sports complex will be the main venue, archery will be held at the Army Sports Institute and girls hockey matches at the NDA hockey ground in Pune. Football matches will be played at the Flame University ground and the police ground in Shivajinagar, the officials informed.

Ace shooter Tejaswini Sawant and athlete Rachita Mistry were present on the occasion. It has already been announced that Youth Olympics gold medallists in shooting, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, as well as weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, will be among the cream of India's young sporting talent competing at these Games.


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