- Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, “In the past 9 years, a new sports revolution has started. This revolution is not just to make India a sports powerhouse but to strengthen the social fabric of our country”
Lucknow: A spectacular show preceded the 10 days of elite action at the Khelo India University Games Uttar Pradesh 2022 with Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi virtually inaugurating the event in Uttar Pradesh. In total 4000+ athletes from across the country have arrived to take part in the pinnacle tournament with the mantra of Kaushal, Niti and Dhairya (Skills, Strategy, and Patience) and ‘Garv se Gaurav’ as the guiding force of the event.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi ji in his address extended his best wishes to the players participating in the Khelo India University Games and praised the Uttar Pradesh government for the organization of the Khelo India University Games which he said will change the sports environment in the universities as this sports festival will take the country to a new height.
He further said: “The event will culminate in my constituency Varanasi and I am looking forward to the same. Tournaments like Khelo India University Games help inculcate team spirit and there will be cultural exchanges between players of different states. The athletes will carry back great experiences from the games which will be etched in their memories forever. In the past 9 years, a new sports revolution has started. This revolution isn’t just to make India a powerhouse but to strengthen the social fabric of our country.”
He then announced the games open which was accompanied by vibrant fireworks.
Among other dignitaries present were Shri. Yogi Adityanath Ji, Hon’ble Chief Minister, UP, Shri. Anurag Thakur, Hon’ble Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India (virtually), Shri. Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, Shri. Brajesh Pathak, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri. Girish Chandra Yadav, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri. Rakesh Sachan, Cabinet Minister of MSME, Khadi and Village Industries, Government of Uttar Pradesh and Shri. Navneet Sehgal, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh.
The event started with the symbolic story of Ramayan showcasing the rich Indian culture and tradition at a projection mapping on the octagon-shaped giant suspended screens 50ft. from the ground in front of fascinated spectators. The special focus was to put a spotlight on the “Guru-Shishya” parampara (Coach and Student” tradition) which was weaved in through the legendary story of Dronacharya and Arjun. It is the lineage of passing knowledge from a succession of gurus to students through oral tradition.
The show was eye-catching, as the artists presented a narrative of the transformation story from the rich culture and heritage to the modern growth of Uttar Pradesh of New India. The game’s mascot Jeetu the Barasingha, the exotic vibrant state animal who embodies “Garv se Gaurav” energized the environment alongside mascots of previous games, Jai and Vijay. An icon of women’s athletics in India and around the globe, Olympian Sudha Singh alongside Danish Mujtaba, Olympian (in hockey), Commonwealth medallist in Judo Vijay Yadav and Indian hockey player Preeti Dubey lit up the torch. An AV was played showcasing the rich sports heritage of Uttar Pradesh solidifying its position as the “State of Champions”.
‘Shakti’, the official torch of the Khelo India University Games, Uttar Pradesh is a symbol of not only its heritage and the spirit it embodies but also a living entity that is brimming with energy. The river Ganga is etched on ‘Shakti’ to inspire every athlete to keep moving forward towards their ultimate goal, and the upward-pointing, future-facing arrow celebrates the glorious past and the future of Uttar Pradesh. Shakti is also blessed with the peacock feather and lotus petals at the origin of light, to manifest its calm energy that can move mountains and is a powerful source of inspiration and motivation.
Students of the host university, BBD University alongside NCC Cadets welcomed the Torch back which went around the entire state in the past 20 days and involved more than 5 lakh people in its way, creating buzz and excitement around the games.
Emphasis was also laid on ensuring sustainability during the games and an oath was taken to ensure the same with the “Life Mission Oath.”
The official anthem of KIUGUP2022, “Khelo India – Har Dil Mein Desh”, composed and sung by renowned singer Palash Sen was performed LIVE by Kailash Kher, setting the tone for the tournament.
Fans are expected to turn out in force in Lucknow, Varanasi, GB Nagar, Gorakhpur and New Delhi to support local athletes who will come up against big names from across the country.
Shri. Yogi Adityanath Ji, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh said: “Under the vision and guidance of Hon’ble PM Shri. Narendra Modi ji, sports is ushering to new heights whether it is Khelo India or FIT India. Sports will ensure the vision of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat” and we are proud to host the Khelo India University Games. We are building sports fields in every Gram Panchayat and providing sports kits to Mahila Mangal Dal in every district. We are also providing jobs to athletes, cash awards and have reserved positions for those who win medals for the state and the country. We are energizing the movement of Khelo India and welcoming all the athletes, officials, and everyone involved in the organising of the games. “