Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country’s first Khelo India University Games 2020 at Cuttack in Odisha. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative and places the country among the league of nations where university games are given importance. As many as 159 universities with 3400 athletes will compete to finish at the podium across 17 sports which include Rugby as one among the six-team events.
It is certainly a historic moment for the country in general and the sports fraternity in particular. PM Modi addressed the gathering at the opening via video conference and sounded ecstatic. “It marks the next step in the country’s sporting revolution. In the coming days, you have the chance to win over 200 gold medals. You also have the chance of bettering your performances, you have the chance to give new heights to your capabilities,” he said.
Perhaps, this is the ideal start to the sporting revolution in a country which has over a billion population. “A new history has been made in Odisha today. This is not only a historic moment in Indian sports but also a big step for the future of Indian sports,” he added.
“You will not only compete against each other but the most important thing is that you are competing against yourself. “Your hard work here will take your, your family’s and India’s dreams forward.”
The vision of the Khelo India Games is to improve the level of sports and sportsperson in the country. When these two things foster, the sporting infrastructure will also be boosted. In the past three years, the Khelo India program has played a vital role in attracting and identifying young sporting talents from across the country.
PM also heaped praise for people from not so privileged backgrounds and lauded for their effort and dedication. “They are from a poor background, common people from tier 2, tier 3 cities. They have generated new hope for the country,” Modi said.
Sports and games are a great unifying force, let us all come together to support our country’s sportspersons in their quest to play sports. The day is not far when our great country will be a sporting powerhouse.