New Delhi : The Governor of Karnataka, TC Gehlot, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Singh Thakur and several dignitaries launched the logo, jersey, mascot and anthem of the Khelo India University Games 2021 (KIUG 2021) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru today. The event, postponed due to the ongoing Covid crisis last year, will be the second edition of KIUG after Odisha hosted the Khelo India University Games in 2020. A Khelo India App for live updates on the Games was also launched by Karnataka, the host state on the occasion. While Shri Gehlot launched the logo and official mascot of the games – Veera, Shri Thakur launched the official jersey of the games as well as the anthem, sung by Chandan Shetty and Nikhil Joshi. Minister of Sericulure, Youth Empowerment and Sports, Govt of Karnataka, Dr KC Narayana Gowda, Minister of Higher Education, Govt of Karnataka Dr Ashwathnarayan CN and other dignitaries were also present at the event.
During his address, Governor of Karnataka Shri TC Gehlot thanked the central government for selecting Karnataka for hosting the second phase of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG). Shri Gehlot added that KIUG is a part of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s dream programme of Khelo India. He further highlighted how well the Indian athletes had performed at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and how KIUG will add to sporting prowess of the country. Shri Gehlot appealed to the youth to participate with full enthusiasm in KIUG and also added that we should spread awareness regarding the sports.
Speaking at the event, Shri Anurag Thakur said, “The Khelo India University Games is a platform through which we intend to identify talent for the Asian Games, CWG and the Olympics. This year around 4500 athletes, representing 20 sports from across India will participate in the Games and I am confident that we will be able to find at least a few players who will represent India in the upcoming Olympics.”
Shri Thakur also congratulated the state for declaring KIUG a Green Games. “KIUG Bengaluru as Green Games is a gamechanger because not only are you committed to promote sports, you are committed to protect the environment, more so at a time when our PM Shri Narendra Modi ji is steering India towards a leadership role in environmental issues.” As part of the Games being Green, it has been decided that everything used in the Games outside the field of play will be made of reusable material, moreover electric vehicles will be used for transportation and all waste will be segregated as wet and dry at the source in every venue. It will therefore be a zero-waste, zero-plastic Games.
KIUG 2021 is indeed about many firsts, among them is the introduction of Yogasana and Mallakhamb in the competition category, among 20 sporting disciplines. Speaking about this decision, Shri Thakur said, “India has thousands of years of sporting history and it is the endeavour of the Union Sports Ministry to promote our age-old sporting disciplines. It was the efforts of our PM that led to the International Day of Yoga being celebrated across the world, and this year our Ministry has also recognised Yogasana as a sport. I am happy to announce that we will have two traditional sports in this year’s KIUG and there is a concrete plan in place to fund rural and indigenous sports throughout the year as well.”
Shri Thakur also congratulated Jain University, the host University of KIUG for their active role in promoting sports along with academics and added that more Universities in India must promote sports on their campus. He also congratulated the Association of Indian Universities for their contribution in promoting University -level sports.
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