Khelo India University Games 2021 kicks off with grand opening ceremony
In a video message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Bengaluru for hosting the Games.
Breath-taking performances depicting Karnataka’s cultural heritage, and a captivating sound and light show added to a grand opening ceremony of the second Khelo India University Games 2021 (KIUG) at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
The Games were declared open by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu. “I appeal to all youngsters across the country to make sports a part of their lives so that you can lead a meaningful life. Playing some game of your choice will make you physically fit and mentally alert and we can really take the country forward,” Naidu said.
Representing the hosts Jain University in KIUG 2021, the youngest Indian swimmer to achieve Olympic standard time - Srihari Nataraj took the oath on behalf of all athletes after the Games were declared open, an official statement said.
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot among others were a part of the opening ceremony.
The ceremony also included participation from some of the country's prominent sports personalities including Anju Bobby George, Reeth Abraham, KY Venkatesh, Thanya Hemanth and Farman Basha.
In a video message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Bengaluru for hosting the Games. “The city of Bengaluru in itself is a symbol of the nation's youth. In the era of Digital India and this city of startups, this intersection with sports is unique. Hosting the Khelo India University Games will add to the immense energy of this beautiful city. I congratulate the Government of Karnataka for the organization of these vital Games,” Modi said.
Bommai said hosting the Khelo India University Games 2021 was a pleasure and privilege for the state. “KIUG 2021 is a great opportunity for us to prove our hospitality and our dedication to maintaining the national integrity of our nation and culture,” Bommai added.
High-octane performances by drummers - Kerala Chande, Nashik Dhols and Punjabi dhols from across the country set the mood of the 10-day sporting event which has drawn participation from various parts of the nation, the statement added.
A new addition to this year’s Games, Mallakhamba - a traditional sport dating back to the 12th century which showcases the skillset of youth in an indigenous manner, was also intricately displayed during the opening ceremony, the statement added.