Host city Lucknow saw spectacular opening ceremony
NEW DELHI, May 25 2023: Prime Minister Narendra Modi remotely declared open Khelo India University Games Thursday at 7 pm via video conferencing. Host venue Lucknow saw a spectacular opening ceremony to usher in the KIUG 2023 Uttar Pradesh, the third edition of what is now India’s biggest multi-sport competition at the higher education level.
The 70-minute ceremony began at 6.50 pm at the BBD University Cricket ground with the rendering of the national anthem by an Army band. The Games mascot Jeetu, inspired by the state animal Barasingha was an integral part of the celebrations.
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 Hon. 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 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. Competitions conclude on June 03, 2023, 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 namely 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.