The second edition of ‘Khelo India Winter Games’ is all set to start from Friday, February 26 at the world-renowned ski and tourist resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir. The five-day-long games will culminate on March 2. The annual winter games in Gulmarg will see the participation of close to 1,200 athletes from 27 states and Union Territories (UTs). Few teams from the Indian army and the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports will also participate in the event.
According to a Press Information Bureau statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address via video conferencing on Friday. The five-day winter sport event is being organised by the Sports Ministry in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of J&K. The officials have termed the second edition of the winter games as a mega sports event and is one of the many aimed at engaging the youth in positive and constructive activities. The administration as part of the event has also planned several cultural programs, besides setting up stalls of ethnic food and local crafts.
Among the disciplines that feature at the event include ice skating, ice hockey, snowshoe race, skiing, Nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and ice stock among others.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Saleem ur Rehman, Director General, Youth Services and Sports, on Thursday said that all the arrangements for the winter games have been finished.
The report also cited an official statement by the administration and organisers which stated, “all the arrangements and put in place all facilities in advance”. The statement also mentioned that a special team of doctors and ambulances will be available round the clock. Besides, a team of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) shall remain deployed for relief and rescue operations, throughout the course of the event.
Khelo India Winter Games are the national level multi-disciplinary grassroot winter games held in the country. After seeing the success of several editions of Khelo India Youth Games, it was decided to hold the first Khelo India Winter Games in 2020.