All You Need To Know About Khelo India Youth Games

Khelo India Youth Games

The Khelo India initiative has provided a new platform for Indian youth to showcase their sporting talent over the last three years.

The government of India proposed Khelo India, which translates to “Let’s Play India,” in 2017 to revitalise India’s sporting culture by engaging children at the grassroots level. The initiative also aimed to improve sporting infrastructure and academies across the country for a variety of sports.

The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), Khelo India University Games (KIUG), and Khelo India Winter Games were established as annual national sports competitions where young people representing their states and universities showcased their skills and competed for medals.

When were the first Khelo India Games held?

The initiative began with the Khelo India School Games in 2018 held in New Delhi. The big push came after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) became associated with the initiative later that year and consequently the Khelo India School Games were renamed to the Khelo India Youth Games from 2019. It took place in Pune.

The first Khelo India University Games were hosted in 2020 at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Odisha.

Two editions of the Khelo India Winter Games (KIWG) have been held in Leh, Ladakh and Gulmarg in Kashmir. The first edition of the Khelo India Winter Games were held in 2020.

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How many sports are played at the Khelo India Games?

Athletics, archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, football, gymnastics, hockey, judo, kabaddi, kho kho, wrestling, weightlifting, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, swimming, and shooting were among the 18 sports featured in the 2018 Khelo India Youth Games.

When the KIYG was held in Guwahati, Assam, in 2020, there were 20 sports. Gatka, kalaripayattu, thang-ta, mallakhamb, and yogasana were added to the programme for the 2021 edition, bringing the total to 25. Water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, and rowing, were added to the list in 2022.

The KIYG has competitions for both boys and girls in the Under-17 and Under-21 age groups.

The inaugural KIUG also had 18 sports – but featured fencing and rugby instead of gymnastics and kho kho from the KIYG programme. The second edition of the Khelo India University Games had 20 sports — including two indigenous sports, yogasana and mallakhamb — added to the programme.

For the Khelo India Winter Games, the list of sports include snow baseball, snow ski, mountaineering, ice skating, ice hockey, snow rugby, ice stock and snowshoe running.

Khelo India Youth Games | IISM World

How are participants selected for Khelo India Games?

Budding sports talents are identified from annual lower-level and national level competitions. For the Khelo India University Games, the participants are further selected basis the World University Games norm.

Sporting talents are developed through the Khelo India e-Khel Pathshala, Khelo India Centres, Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE), Khelo India Accredited Academy and other training establishments identified by the scheme.

Khelo India Centres

The Khelo India Centres initiative aims to strengthen the sports infrastructure in India. It does this by supporting an existing sports training facility by offering financial support and support staff and equipment among other things. This comes under the Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) scheme. The Khelo India Centres drive does this at a grassroots level.

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