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The aspiring young India is ready to plunge into the ‘bigger & better’ Khelo India Youth Games 2019


The Khelo India programme was launched by the Government of India with a vision to showcase the tremendous potential of Indian sportsperson, mainly in the grassroot level, by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country. The first edition of Khelo India Youth Games was hosted at Delhi in 2018 under the able guidance of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Sports Minister of India. Our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was present to inaugurate the edition that was itself a real boost for the 3700+ athletes present at the occasion.

Under-17 athletes participated across 16 disciplines in the 7-day long affair with Haryana emerging as the champion state. Haryana picked 38 gold, 26 silver and 38 bronze to take their total medal tally to 102. Maharashtra finished second with a tally of 110 medals, 36 of them gold. The team won 32 silver and bronze each.  

With Maharashtra emerging as the second-best team in the inaugural edition, they gained the confidence to bid for the 2019 edition. “We had decided to host the second edition of Khelo India Games at the Shiv Chatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. We are trying to enhance the sports culture further with this event. We have upgraded the infrastructure so that our youth can train better in future’’, said Vinod Tawde, the Minister of School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare of Maharashtra.

This year the Games will have 18 disciplines and over 6000 athletes covering college students, taking the age group from under-17 to under-21. “It is just the tip of the ice berg. It is time to believe in ourselves. We can do everything’’, said Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Khelo India brings many arms of Indian sport like Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Sports Authority of India (SAI), National Sports Federations, Association of Indian Universities and School Games Federation of India together under one platform.  

Youth Olympics gold medallists shooters Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary and weighlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga will be among the cream of India’s young sporting talents participating in the Games. Recurve archer Akash Malik and Air Rifle shooter Mehuli Ghosh, who won silver in Youth Olympics will also be competing. Other participants include boxers Sakshi Chaudhary, who won the AIBA World Youth Boxing Championship, Asian champions Anamika Hooda and Manisha as well as Bhavesh Kattimani, a World Youth Championship bronze medal winner. UWW World Junior championship freestyle silver medallist Deepak Punia and Sajan Bhanwal, who created history by becoming the first Indian Greco-Roman wrestler to win a silver medal there will also be participating. Athletes like Jisna Mathew, who was part of the Indian campaign in the 2016 Olympic Games will also come with international experience. 

Khelo India 2019 will be broadcasted on Star Sports for the second year but there will be more hours of live coverage, with three regional languages — Tamil, Telugu and Kannada — to broadcast the Games along with the English and Hindi broadcast. With an increased broadcasting time, Khelo India is trying to follow the big idea of American collegiate sports that is flourishing on television.

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PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.


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