Khelo India 2020: Assam to have 650-Strong Contingent, 6,500 Athletes, 3,500 Officials Expected to Visit City
The Assam government, in partnership with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and School Games Federation of India (SGFI), will be hosting the third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG).
The event featuring 20 national level multidisciplinary grass root games will be held from 10th January to 22nd January, 2020. Guwahati, at the moment, is all geared up to host and witness this mega event.
A total of 6,456 students from 37 teams will compete in 451 medal events and the coveted prizes under two categories, namely under-17 school students and under-21 college students. The various competitions will be held at 11 different venues across the city.
It is to be mentioned that this year two new disciplines - cycling and lawn ball - have been added to the list of events that will be competed in.
A complete schedule of the various competitions is given below:
Around 10,000 people are expected from across the country that would include the 6,456 athletes, around 3,500 technical officials. The rest are support staff. More than 400 sports volunteers and 1,000 general volunteers have been appointed to ensure smooth running of the event.
G Plus caught up with Avinash Joshi, Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Sports & Youth Welfare Department, who has been appointed as the CEO of the 3rd KIYG 2020, for supervision of all matters related to the same. He said that the 11 venues have been refurbished, renovated and repaired and have been handed over to the sports department by the PWD. Equipments have already been procured for the various games and have been installed.
The opening and the closing ceremonies will be held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai. The opening ceremony will be held on 10th January at 6 pm and a crowd of around 20,000 is expected. The closing ceremony will be held on the 22nd January which would conclude the Games.
Joshi further said, “We have extended our invitation to PM Narendra Modi but are yet to get a confirmation. In all likelihood he would grace the opening ceremony.” High level dignitaries are to be present for the closing ceremony.
A very eventful and colourful opening ceremony is expected and Joshi has also hinted at performances by Bollywood celebrities and internationally renowned artists. He however preferred to keep it as a surprise for the people when he was asked for the names of such celebrities.
The Youth Games, meanwhile, is utilizing a budget of Rs 138 crores, including a support of Rs 34 crores from the central government, as per a report in Sportstar. A majority of the budget is being used to provide the sports players with quality accommodation.
Around 170 hotels have been booked across the city. Five of the top hotels of Guwahati including Radisson Blu and the Vivanta by Taj have been booked as “single category” for guests and high level representatives. Apart from these there are double occupancy hotels for the officials and triple occupancy hotels that will be accommodating the athletes.
10% of the athletes are to be from Assam, around 650 of the total number. The best efforts are being put in by the players and vigorous coaching programs are going on for the last few weeks. The CM has expressed hopes for better results for Assam compared to the previous years and the sports authorities are confident in winning various medals. The CM has earlier announced a reward of Rs 1,00,000 for the gold medal winners from Assam in the Khelo India Youth Games as an incentive. The silver and bronze medallists will be paid Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.
Around 170 hotels have been booked across the city. Five of the top hotels of Guwahati including Radisson Blu and the Vivanta by Taj have been booked for guests and high level representatives.
Quality transportation facilities, help desks, reception areas at every venue and functional area
The state transportation department is on its heels to provide complete support for the smooth running of Khelo India Youth Games 2020. The transportation responsibilities have been accorded to the Bharat Vikas Group India Limited on behalf of the Government of Assam.
Talking to G Plus, Shri Adil Khan, Commissioner of Transport and Head of Transportation Functional Area for KIYG 2020 said, “Our job is to provide smooth and comfortable transportation facility to all the participants of the Games which include athletes, their coaches, team managers, the games related officials and different representatives from different states of the country.”
He said that vehicles to be used are being regularly checked for their fitness by motor vehicle experts and technical officers in the premises of Sarusajai Sports Complex. Only AC vehicles under fit condition and not older than three years are to be used. These vehicles are also being branded with Khelo India stickers for promotional purpose.
Help desks and reception centres consisting of officials transportation department, BVG and volunteers are being set up at the transportation functional areas – LGBI Airport, Guwahati Railway Station, Kamakhya Railway Station and the ISBT and also at every accommodation facilities and Games venues. Special parking slots are being earmarked for the vehicles of athletes and dignitaries.
Peak demand of around 600 vehicles ranging from big buses, mini buses, SUVs, LMVs, sedans and hatchbacks are expected.
Only AC vehicles under fit condition and not older than three years are to be used.
City Police geared up to tackle crowd, ensures security to all
Tight security measures and traffic arrangements are being taken by the city police to ensure safety and security to all athletes, dignitaries and representatives of states.
Newly appointed Commisssioner of Police, MP Gupta said, “We will do everything to ensure that the games are conducted smoothly and to make it successful because it is a very prestigious event for Assam. We also appeal to all sections of the society to make it a very grand and successful event.”
Complete presence of police and other security personnel will be ensured at every venue, accommodation and transport facility. Separate parking areas will be allotted for spectators for smooth traffic movement.
Avinash Joshi, CEO of the 3rd KIYG, 2020, who has also played a major part in conducting the National Games, 2007 as the then Deputy Commissioner and the South Asian Games, 2016 said that people of Guwahati are highly enthusiastic and cooperative. “We are also keeping close eye on security,” he said.
Praising the people of Guwahati he said, “We have seen multidisciplinary games and people in Guwahati come out in big numbers. There were huge crowds in the National Games, 2007 in spite of ULFA boycott calls. We are hopeful that although the democratic and non-violent protests will go on, people of the city would cooperate and turn up in huge numbers.”
The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a great sporting nation. Given the large scale preparation of this event and the large athlete contingent from Assam, the state is on the path to live up to the dream of truly making Guwahati the ‘Sports Capital of India.”