• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Assam’s international standard venues to spice up KIUG 2023 contests

The forthcoming fourth edition of the Khelo India University Games 2023 is expected to witness edge-of-the-seat contests at the city’s state-of-the-art venues, designed to match international standards, and boosted by the recent introduction of the High-Performance Sports Training and Rehabilitation Centre at the Sarusajai Sports Complex — the centre of most sporting action at the KIUG.

The successful conduct of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) in 2020 was a stepping stone for the state to be rewarded a grander spectacle like the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) where more than 3,500 top athletes from across 200 universities will battle for the top honours over the next 15 days starting from February 19.

“As far as the venues for the Khelo India University Games are concerned, the stadiums at the Sarusajai Sports Complex are of international standard. The Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium has previously hosted a few FIFA Under-17 World Cup games, the South Asian Games, KIYG and Senior National Athletics championships. Accordingly, the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor stadium has hosted global competitions like the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships,besides the BWF 100 Series Badminton Championships last December,  explained Bokul Kalita, Estate Office, Sports Authority of Assam.

“Similarly, the Dr Zakir Hussain Aquatics Complex recently hosted the senior national swimming championships, besides the South Asian Games and the KIYG. With all the stadiums hosting prestigious events frequently, this is a trailer to the standard of venues expected at the KIUG,” Kalita further said.

While this is only the list of venues at the Sarusajai Sports Complex, there’s a long list of other high standard venues in the rest of the city and across the state in general. The Chachal Tennis Complex that will host the tennis events has been a home to several ITF events over the years. While the shooting range at Kahilipara is the only one in the Northeast, and has hosted a number of national shooting competitions.

The Nehru Stadium, situated in the heart of the city, has been a witness to a number of mouth-watering contests in both cricket and football over the years and is all set to host some of the competitions of the KIUG 2023.

Former athlete Shhaurya Sarma, who now serves as a Deputy Secretary of the Sports and Youth Welfare Department, listed the launch of the High-Performance Sports Training and Rehabilitation Centres across the state as a major game-changer for the state’s athletes.

“Assam government has been investing heavily in developing sports infrastructure across the state. Last month, CM Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated a High-Performance Sports Training and Rehabilitation Centre at the Sarusajai Sports Complex, and a similar one has come up in Jorhat. Another HPC has been proposed to be set up in Kokrajhar. This will help our youth in the coming days,” he said.

Khel Maharan

Adding to list of initiatives, Bokul Kalita said that the state government recently conducted the Khel Maharan with a noble aim of fostering the spirit of sports, healthy competition and unity across the state. The event witnessed participation of close to 50 lakh sports aficionados, spanning all age groups and skill levels.

Organized into four distinct stages starting at the Gram Panchayat or Municipal Level and culminating in the grand State Level event, ensured that sports enthusiasts from all corners of Assam can participate and compete.

“After completion of the Khelo India University Games, we will shift our focus on conducting the final stage, which is the state level competitions of Khel Maharan. The basic idea of conducting the Khel Maharan is to identify the talents from the grassroots level (by a special talent hunt team) and in due course nurture these athletes at the residential training academies and other centres,” he commented.

Further reflecting on the state’s focus on sports, Kalita summed up by citing that the medal count of the state at the National Games has doubled in a year’s time. “At the 36th Gujarat National Games in 2022, Assam finished with 28 medals, and in Goa, last year, we went up to 56, which is a testament to the state’s focus on sports.”

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