Mangaluru, Oct 04, 2017: Union sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore revealed that the government is set to launch ’Khelo India school games’ in Mangaluru, by December 2017, to provide platform for children to nurture talent at an ASSOCHAM event held.
The Khelo India School Games will be in December and we will have it every year and will be in partnership with corporate houses and broadcasting channels so that we can deliver in these categories. Khelo India will spot 1,000 children from the school games and fund them by allocating Rs 5 lakh per year for 8 years, said Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of state, ministry of youth affairs and sport (i/c) while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM FIFA U-17 World Cup, India Industry Discussion and Felicitation Sessions at New Delhi.
Every year, the government will keep adding 1,000 athletes more to this number. So, eight years down the line, 8,000 athletes being supported by Rs.5 lakhs each and to a quantum of about Rs. 250 crore, he said.
We will try and raise it to the level of Asian games and American games so there is provide platform for children who are studying in school to come and play and participate in that platform. Without doing this we will not be able to nurture talent, he said. We will create first ever ’Khelo India college games’ and that’s going to be in January 2018, he said.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 is a very important occasion as for the first time an Indian team will participate in a FIFA Tournament and thus it is a great honour for all of us, the minister said. "Each and every one of you can inspire this nation by what you do on the football field", Rathore added.
Addressing the Indian U-17 World Cup squad members, he said, "you are going to play the game of your life and every moment counts. When you enter the field, you should enter to win."
Sports is not just play and fun, it is a medium for breaking boundaries and communications. The Prime Minister certainly sees sports as something that unites the country, he said. The way we look at sport needs to change in India. Every stakeholder has to become part of what sports is all about and that includes the federation, corporates, parents, schools, colleges and media as well.
This country is the youngest country in the world and it has to behave like a young country. It has to play and have fun and learn through sports. Any idea that you bring about be it in manufacturing, trading and anything to promote manufactures of the sports goods, all promotions of sports.
Ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup starting on October 6, Rathore said, 24000 tickets have been sold out and we actually held on the sale of the tickets so that we can reserve some for the children. We want children to watch the matches in large numbers.
All India Football Federation’s General Secretary Kushal Das, who was also present at the occasion said, "Hosting of U-17 football World Cup in India will prove to be a watershed event. He said, we are ready for the event and just a beginning for Indian Football, there is a long way to go.