A sum of Rs 20.67 crores have been sanctioned to Haryana by Indian Sports Ministry, on account to host the Khelo India Youth Games 2021. The games are scheduled to held in Panchkula, Haryana in November 2021 this year. The Khelo India Youth Games are a national-level competition for under-18s. and will feature 25 sporting disciplines, including five indigenous games which have been added for the first time.

Being the country’s largest grassroots-level talent identification scheme especially in sports, the purpose of the programme is to strengthen India’s sporting ecosystem whilst identifying and nurturing talents who have the potential to be podium finishers at major international competitions, including the Olympics. Athletes selected through the programme are given sizable annual scholarships and training aids.

Regards to the move, Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju said, “Haryana has a very strong culture of sport. I am very happy that the Games will be held in Panchkula this year. The existing sporting infrastructure in the state is very good and more infrastructure is being developed for the Games.”

The first edition of these games was held in Delhi in 2018 under the banner of the Khelo India School Games. Thereafter, it was renamed as the Khelo India Youth Games and hosted in Pune and Guwahati in the year 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Haryana sports minister Sandeep Singh, a former Indian hockey international and Olympian, reiterated the state’s preparedness for hosting the Khelo India Youth Games, in a statement, he said, “There is a lot of enthusiasm among the players about the event since the responsibility of conducting it has been entrusted to Haryana. Since the preparations started, the state government is constantly working to make Khelo India grand.”

Elite athletes from Haryana, including Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning shooter Anish Bhanwala, expressed their delight for their home state playing host to the Khelo India Youth Games 2021.

In a statement, Rani Rampal said, “The multi-discipline sports extravaganza will definitely provide a great stepping stone for budding athletes from Haryana.” Whereas Anish Bhanwala said, “Now, more facilities and infrastructure will be created thanks to the Khelo India Youth Games and this will boost the upcoming generation of athletes from the State in a much bigger way.”

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