Uttar Pradesh is all set to host its biggest sporting event to date at BBD University in Lucknow on Thursday. The Khelo India University Games 2023 (KIUG) will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the virtual mode, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will meet the players on this historic occasion in Lucknow.
Over 4,000 athletes will represent over 200 universities across 21 sports in this 10-day event. The event will conclude on June 3 at BHU Varanasi.
Based on the number of young players, this is going to be the biggest event of the state. Hence, it is being called the ‘Mahakumbh’ of sports. On this occasion, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of State for Sports Nisith Pramanik and all the ministers and officials of the state will be present. Famous singer Kailash Kher will also perform at the launch event.
Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2022 will be held in four cities (Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Gautam Budh Nagar) of Uttar Pradesh. Besides the state capital, shooting competitions will also be organized in New Delhi. As per the schedule, Lucknow will host 12 sports events (Archery, Judo, Mallakhamb, Volleyball, Fencing, Badminton, Table Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Hockey, Football) at 8 venues.
Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) will host 5 sports events (Basketball, Kabaddi, Boxing, Swimming and Weightlifting) at 3 venues. IIT-BHU, Varanasi will host 2 sports (Wrestling and Yoga), while Gorakhpur and Delhi will organize rowing and shooting events respectively. Rowing has been included in these games for the first time.
On May 5, the torch (mashaal) of the games, which departed from Lucknow, traveled a distance of 8,948 kilometers, passing through 75 districts of the state, and returned to Lucknow on Wednesday. On Thursday, this torch will reach BBD University. Notably, four torches were lit and sent off from Lucknow along with Shubhankar Jeetu, the mascot of these games. The four torches covered different parts of Uttar Pradesh and received a grand welcome by sportspersons and sports lovers everywhere.
Meanwhile, more than five and a half lakh people registered their presence and encouraged sportspersons from various universities participating in the Khelo India University Games-2022.
Even though the official inauguration of the Khelo India University Games will take place on Thursday, the event has already started on May 23 with Kabaddi in Gautam Budh Nagar. The first day of the Kabaddi competition began with a cultural programme at SVSP Sports Complex. On the second day on May 24, basketball matches started at Gautam Budh University Indoor Stadium, while Malkhamb, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Rugby, Football (boys and girls) and Tennis matches started in Lucknow.
Additional Chief Secretary (Sports and Youth Welfare), Dr. Navneet Sehgal said, “The opening ceremony of these games will be so grand that all eyes will be on Lucknow. The atmosphere of sports in UP has completely changed now. The Yogi government, which is always ahead in promoting sportspersons, is all set to leave its mark on the world sports arena with the help of Khelo India University Games-2022.”
Dr. Sehgal added, “The same enthusiasm, which was seen during the recent IPL matches held in Lucknow, will be seen in the Khelo India University Games too. The sports infrastructure of UP will be further strengthened with the holding of this event. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government is committed to providing excellent services to the players participating in these games. The organization of Khelo India University Games will help attract both students and teachers to sports, creating an ecosystem in universities. Organizing such competitions will also promote sports culture in the state.”