Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the third edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2022 via video conference at BBD University Cricket Ground in Lucknow on Thursday.
The Khelo India University Games runs from May 25 to June 3. Four cities across Uttar Pradesh - Lucknow, Varanasi, Greater Noida and Gorakhpur - will host most events. Only the shooting events are scheduled in New Delhi. In its third edition, the games are now India's biggest multi-sport competition at the higher education level.
Among those present at the ceremony were Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Sports Nisith Pramanik.
"The Commonwealth Games scam showed the attitude of the previous govt towards Sports. Games which would have enhanced India's image were made scam-ridden," PM Modi said while addressing the athletes of the Khelo India University Games being held in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh is all set to host its biggest sporting event to date at BBD University. Over 4,000 athletes and over 200 universities will represent 21 sports in this 10-day event. The event will conclude on June 3 at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi.
Apart from addresses by dignitaries, the programme also included songs and invocations, thematic performances, torch animations and lighting of the Games Torch by a famous sports personality of the state, a fireworks display and administering of the LIFE Mission oath. The game's mascot Jeetu, inspired by the state animal 'Barasingha' will also be an integral part of the celebrations.
As per the schedule, Lucknow will host 12 sports events (Archery, Judo, Mallakhamb, Volleyball, Fencing, Badminton, Table Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Hockey, Football) at eight venues. Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) will host five sports events (Basketball, Kabaddi, Boxing, Swimming and Weightlifting) at three venues.
IIT-BHU, Varanasi will host two sports (Wrestling and Yoga), while Gorakhpur and Delhi will organize rowing and shooting events respectively. Rowing has been included in these games for the first time.
On Thursday, the torch (Mashaal) of the games reached at BBD University. Notably, four torches were lit and sent off from Lucknow along with Shubhankar Jeetu, the mascot of these games.
The four torches covered different parts of Uttar Pradesh and received a grand welcome from sportspersons and sports lovers everywhere. Meanwhile, more than five and a half lakh people registered their presence and encouraged sportspersons from various universities to participate in the Khelo India University Games 2022.
The third edition of the KIUG will have over 4000 athletes from over 200 universities in the country competing in 21 sporting disciplines. Four cities of the state namely Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Noida will play host to the various sports with Delhi's Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range hosting the Shooting competition.
Rowing, to be held at Ramgarh Taal in Gorakhpur, will also ensure the debut of water sports in this edition of the KIUG. Some prominent athletes who will be seen in action in this edition of the KIUG include Manu Bhaker, Hriday Hazarika, Mehuli Ghosh, Arjun Babuta and Sift Kaur Samra in Shooting, Diya Chitale and Ananya Basak in Table Tennis, Sk. Sahil in Football, Aneesh Gowda in Swimming, Malvika Bansod in Badminton, Yash Ghangas in Judo and Priya Malik and Sagar Jaglan in Wrestling. (ANI)