Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: Stage is ready for the third Khelo India Youth Games which will begin in the city from Friday. Around 10,000 athletes and officials will take part in the 13-day Games.
The Games, although, officially be inaugurated on Friday but the events will start from tomorrow. The first day will witness three events-Kabaddi, Volleyball and gymnastics.
The inaugural function will be attended by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, along with a host of star athletes, among them is Assam’s pride Hima Das.
Talking about third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal said, “We are extremely delighted to host the third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games. The competition has started a sporting revolution in India and we couldn’t be more proud of the fact that the tournament is being held in Assam. I wish the athletes all the very best,”
Sonowal today also took part at the inauguration ceremony of volunteers’ camp for the forthcoming Games at Sarusajai Sports Complex. In a brief speech he urged the volunteers to perform their duties with utmost dedication and sincerity for smooth organisation of the Games.
Altogether 37 teams (states and union territories) will compete in a total of 20 sports events in eight venues across Guwahati, during the competition. Two new events would be introduced this time in the Games and these are: Lawn bowls and cycling. The CEO of the Games Avinash Joshi informed The Sentinel that the number of participants in this Games would be a new record. “First time such a huge number of athletes and officials are participating in the history of the Khelo India Games.” Joshi said.
The third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games has seen several first time initiatives by the government, including having aircrafts dedicated to ferry athlete from Kolkata and Delhi to Guwahati and a go-green programme that will see electric cars at the venues. Besides the Khelo India scholarships that winners of the tournament will get, the Assam Government has also announced cash awards for the winners.
Commenting on the preparation Joshi said, “The host state is fully geared up to conduct the multi -sport event with world class infrastructure in place and equipment for games shipped in.”
A dedicated hospitality team has been put in place to ensure the best sporting experience for athletes and officials from various states, with over 100 hotels booked in the city.