Khelo India Youth Games
Khelo India offers much-needed platform for young talent: Anju Bobby George
Anju Bobby George is upbeat that the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) can eventually bridge the gap between grassroots programme and top competition in athletics.
Anju Bobby George, the first Indian athlete to earn a podium finish in the World Athletics Championship, is upbeat that the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) can eventually bridge the gap between grassroots programme and top competition in athletics.
The upcoming edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will be held in 27 disciplines across eight cities in Madhya Pradesh and will get underway here on January 30.
The track & field events of KIYG 2022, a three-day affair, will be held at T.T. Nagar Stadium in Bhopal from February 3-5.
The other cities which will play hosts are Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Mandla, Khargone (Maheshwar) and Balaghat.
Former long jumper Anju, a member of the government's Mission Olympic cell that is responsible for selecting athletes for the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme), feels that the Khelo India scheme forms the foundation in terms of grooming talent.
"It's an unique project with the right intent from Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and the sports ministry, and it has already started producing the results. It's however a continuous process and we have to build on it," Anju told the KIYG media during an interview.
"The Games are offering young children up to 18-years a kind of exposure in front of talent-hunters which previously did not exist. The athletes who make the cut are provided with government funding for training and also get an out-of-pocket allowance, which gives them a big sense of pride," she said.