Bhubaneswar: The opening ceremony of the first edition of Khelo India University Games (KIUG) will be held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Saturday (February 22). This multi-disciplinary sporting event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video conference facility.
Several dignitaries and sportspersons, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju will be in attendance.
According to sources, 4,000 athletes from 176 universities will be participating in the KIUG. The games will be played at three venues in Bhubaneswar and the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in the Millennium City. The seven-day tournament will end on March 1.
Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Sandeep Pradhan and State Government’s Sports Secretary Vishal Dev visited all the three venues on Friday to assess the arrangements for the opening ceremony.
Speaking about the mega event, Sports Secretary Vishal Dev said, “This is the first edition of Khelo India and Odisha has got the chance to create history. Besides, this is the first such mega event for the state and so I am hopeful it will be successful.”
The inaugural ceremony will be witnessing performances by Bollywood singers like Sona Mohapatra and Ollywood artistes and dance performances by popular dance groups.
At KIUG, there will be 17 sports disciplines, which include individual events like- archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling and team events such as badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi.
The students from the University of Mysore and Laxmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior had unveiled the KIUG trophy at the KIIT Campus in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
The Khelo India University Games has been funded by the Sports Ministry in association with the Odisha government. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and National Sports Federations (NSF) are also supporting the event.