Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju announced on Thursday that the Union Territory of Ladakh will host the Khelo India Winter Games later this month. Whereas, in March, similar competitions will be held in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Rijiju also informed that the Sports Ministry will bear the expenses of both the Khelo India Winter Games competitions.
The first competition will be held in Ladakh in the third week of February and the second competition in Jammu and Kashmir in the first week of March. The Khelo India Ladakh Winter Games will feature ice hockey championship, figure skating and speed skating events and the competition will be held at the block, district and union territory level. Around 1700 players are expected to participate in these games.
On the other hand, Khelo India Jammu and Kashmir Winter Games will be held in four age groups for boys and girls at Kongdori, Gulmarg. In these sports, players in the age group of 19-21, 17-18, 15-16 and 13-14 will participate in Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing events.
Around 841 players and officials from 15 teams of various states and organizations are expected to participate in these games organized by Jammu Kashmir Sports Council and Jammu Kashmir Winter Sports Association.
Speaking about the decision the Union sports minister Rijiju said sports is the best way to channelize energy.
“There is no better means than sport to channelize the energy of youth in the right direction,” Rijiju said.
Further, informing about the sports that are to be held in the winter games he said,
“We have included disciplines like Ice Hockey, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, that are part of Olympics, and with time we may also be able to produce champions in these disciplines in India.”
“I am happy to announce the initiation of yet another Khelo India Games. This will be the third Khelo India Games in one year, and we plan to organise one for indigenous games as well” the sports minister concluded.