Taking forward the legacy of the ‘Khelo India‘ initiative which first saw the emergence of Youth Games will now see its first edition of University Games to be held in Bhubaneswar at the KIIT University from February 22 to March 1, 2020.
Over the past few years, Bhubaneswar has been the venue for big sporting events such as the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, 2019 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, 2019 Hero Gold Cup 4-Nation Women’s Football tournament. Odisha’s capital city has continued to attract big-ticket events as it is one of the host cities for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s Football World Cup and will now host the first edition of the Khelo India University Games.
The proposal to host Khelo India University Games in Odisha was given to State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by the Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in November 2019. After the meeting CM Patnaik has said, “Glad to meet Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. Had a very fruitful discussion on the development of world-class sports infrastructure to nurture future champions for the country. Thanked him for the appreciation for Odisha’s illustrious sporting ecosystem and love for sports.”
The KIUG-2020 Odisha will have approximately 4,000 athletes from around 80-100 universities, apart from technical and supporting staff. The KIUG-2020 Odisha will have 17 sports disciplines (Individual events – Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Swimming, Weightlifting, Wrestling; Team Games – Badminton, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Rugby, Kabaddi).
The first edition is being organized by the Government of Odisha in association with the Sports Authority of India, Association of Indian Universities, National Sports Federation, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and participating universities.
The participants for the Khelo India University Games have been selected from the zonal and inter-zonal tournaments which took place in the month of November 2019. The Khelo India University Games are a part of the Khelo India program started by the Ministry of Sports to give the grassroot level talent a platform to showcase their skills.