Inaugural Khelo India University Games to feature 176 institutes and 4000 athletes

The first edition of the Khelo India University Games will be held at the KIIT University Campus in Bhubaneswar from February 22 to March 1.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union HRD minister Ramesh Pohkriyal, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju during the launch of 'Khelo India University Games 2020' in Bhubaneswar.   -  pti

The inaugural Khelo India University Games, which will be held here from February 22 to March 1, will see more than 4000 athletes from 176 institutes vying for top honours in 17 sports.

Some of the top universities of the country, including Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, University of Delhi, University of Calicut, University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai, University of Kerala, LNIPE University, Gwalior, University of Madras, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Himachal Pradesh University, University of Jammu, will send their athletes for the Games.

“With 176 Universities from across India registering to participate in the first edition of Khelo India University Games, we are confident this will create a new revolution in sports at the varsity level where youth of U-25 will get a great platform to showcase their talent in 17 different disciplines,” Sports Authority of India Director General Sandip Pradhan said.

“The vision behind hosting this multi-discipline sporting extravaganza is to create a robust university games and identify talent who can be trained for the Olympics. Across the world, university games have formed the basis for identification and nurturing of Olympic talent,” he said.

The athletes will compete in 17 disciplines namely archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.

Most of the events will be held at different venues within the KIIT University Campus here. Badminton and table tennis will be held at JN Indoor Stadium in Cuttack while athletics will be held at the Kalinga Stadium.

“Odisha is a sports-loving state and we have hosted several marque international events. I am confident this event will set yet another bench mark and the true spirit of sportsmanship will be showcased. Our officials are working round-the-clock for a smooth execution of the event and to ensure everyone has a memorable experience,” said Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera.