Khelo India University Games mascot
Khelo India University Games mascot

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will declare open Khelo India University Games 2022 on Thursday at 7 PM via video conferencing.

The state capital Lucknow, is all set for a spectacular opening ceremony to usher in the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2022 Uttar Pradesh (UP), the third edition of what is now India’s biggest multi-sport competition at the higher education level.

Among other dignitaries present will be UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Anurag Singh Thakur,  Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and Information and Broadcasting, Government of India as well as  MoS, Sports,Nisith Pramanik.

The 70-minute ceremony, officially begins at 6.50 pm at the B.B.D. University Cricket ground with the rendering of the national anthem by an Army band.

The programme then, besides addresses by dignitaries, will be interspersed with songs and invocations, thematic performances, torch animations and lighting of the Games Torch by famoussports personality of the state, fireworks display and administering of the LIFE Mission oath.

The Games mascot Jeetu, inspired by the state animal Barasingha will also be an integral part of the celebrations.The function concludes with a special performance by famous singer Kailash Kher.

Speaking ahead of the event, Navneet Sehgal, additional chief secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of UP, said, “It is a red-letter day for sports in UP and we are all eagerly looking forward to the event which has been meticulously planned under the visionary guidance of the Chief Minister.

“It will be a world class ceremony showcasing the rich cultural traditions of the state blending with its current rapid progress towards growth and modernity.

“We are confident that the entire state will join us in some way to ensure the success of the event, which will herald a revolution for sports and sportspersons in the region.”

While group leagues games in men’s and women’s Kabaddi commenced on May 23, 2023, at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik (SVSP) stadium in Greater Noida, preliminary rounds and group games of seven other disciplines- Basketball, Football, Rugby, Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Mallakhamb, also began at three venues in Lucknow on May 24, 2023. Competitions conclude on June 3, next with the closing ceremony planned at Varanasi.

The third edition of the KIUG will have over 4000 athletes from over 200 universities of the country competing in 21 sporting disciplines.

Four cities of the state Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Noida will play host to the various sports with Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh Shooting range hosting the Shooting competition.

Rowing, to be held at Ramgarh Taal in Gorakhpur, will also ensure the debut of water-sports in this edition of the KIUG.

Some prominent national level athletes who will be seen in action in this edition of the KIUG are the likes of Manu Bhaker, Hriday Hazarika, Mehuli Ghosh, Arjun Babuta and Sift Kaur Samra in Shooting, Diya Chitale and Ananya Basak in Table Tennis, Sk Sahil in Football, Aneesh Gowda in Swimming, Malvika Bansod in Badminton, Yash Ghangas in Judo and Priya Malik and Sagar Jaglan in Wrestling, among others

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