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Thakur announces first-ever Khelo India Para Games

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, NOV 24, 2023: WITH vision to identify talent and create an opportunity for young and aspiring para athletes to shine, Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, announced the first-ever Khelo India Para Games which will be held in New Delhi from 10th December to 17th December. Through a video message, he said, "I am proud to announce that from December 10 to 17, the first-ever Khelo India Para Games will be held in various locations across New Delhi. A total of 7 disciplines will be held across three SAI (Sports Authority of India) Stadiums."

The announcement is a big shot in the arm towards the government's initiative to develop para sports in the country, and the event will help in identifying talented para athletes who will be further aided with ample support from SAI and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to hone their skills.

Talking on the occasion Anurag Singh Thakur said that "The Khelo India Scheme has remained a game-changer for Indian sports. The Khelo India Games have played a pivotal role in the scheme with a total of 11 Khelo India Games held since 2018 - 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games, and 3 Khelo India Winter Games have been successfully conducted."

"From these games, we have identified nearly 1000 talented athletes and many of them have participated in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and the Olympic Games. I wish the para athletes participating in the upcoming Games the very best,"  he expressed.

Over 1350 participants from across 32 states and union territories including the Services Sports Control Board are expected to participate in the maiden Khelo India Para Games which will witness para athletes vie for honours in 7 disciplines including para athletics, para shooting, para archery, para football, para badminton, para table tennis, and para weight lifting. The events will be held across 3 SAI stadiums - the IG Stadium, Shooting Range in Tughlaqabad, and the JLN Stadium.

Lauding the efforts of Indian para athletes who won an unprecedented 111 medals at the recently concluded Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, Union Minister emphasized that the Khelo India Para Games will aim to provide continuity to the para athletes with the annually held event.

"Just a few weeks back, our para athletes created history as they ended their Hangzhou Asian Para Games campaign with an unprecedented 111 medals, the biggest haul for the country in any major international multi-sport event and now continuity of the Para Games and creating more development in the Paralympic sports remains our foremost agenda. And the first-ever Khelo India Para Games is another big step towards the vision of our Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji."

Since 2018, a total of 11 Khelo India Games have been successfully held. This includes 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games, and 3 Khelo India Winter Games. Thakur expressed that these Games have been instrumental in identifying talent across the country and have aided in India's performance at the prestigious multi-discipline events.



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