Union Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore kicked off the Khelo India Games 2019 in Pune in Maharashtra. He spoke about several aspects of the event including the success of the games so far and the prize money, as well why sports should be made part of one's daily life.
Thanking PM Narendra Modi for his vision to start the Khelo India, he spoke about the event's success.
"I thank PM Narendra Modis due to whose vision we are doing the second edition of Khelo India. The first edition had 3,500 participants and this time we have 10,000 participants," he said.
He also spoke about the live broadcast of the Khelo India event and how it will help inspire more school children.
"Your games will be covered live and your friends and family can watch the event. Those who are watching, know that the students you see playing here today will be the ones who will bring us the Olympic medals. Many school children who are watching you, will be inspired by you to play in the Khelo India. This was the vision of PM Narendra Modi, to give school children the feel and an idea of what happens during international sports events," he said.
He announced the awards for the Khelo India Games 2019.
"Are you ready for the challenge? As among you, 1,000 players will be chosen and will be given Rs 5 lakhs every year for the next eight years," he said.
He stressed upon the importance of sports.
"Sports are educative, no book can teach you what you learn in a playground... You have to work hard, you will have to face defeat you will have to face victory, this is the life of a sportsperson and this will make the country the best in the world. Hence make everyone play sports. In this country, playing is mandatory, ensure kids around you are playing sports," he said.
ABOUT THE KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES 2019
The Khelo India Youth Games 2019 will see a host of athletes in action post the flagging off of the event.
Among those in action will be champion shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, world cadet champion wrestlers Anshu and Sonam, Olympian athlete Jisna Mathew, Youth Olympics gold medallist weight-lifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, budding tennis player Mahak Jain and swimming star Srihari Nataraj.
The athletes will compete in 18 different disciplines, of which six are team sports.
At the Khelo India School Games 2018, Haryana won 38 gold, 26 silver and 38 bronze medals, while Maharashtra finished with 36 gold, 32 silver and 42 bronze medals.