New Delhi [India], Mar 5 (ANI): Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said the upcoming Khelo India Winter Games will add a new chapter in the sporting world.
The first-ever Winter Games will be held in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir from March 7 to 11.
"The first edition of the Khelo India Winter Games in Jammu and Kashmir will start from March 7. This will be a new chapter in the sporting world. The Games will be inaugurated in Gulmarg. This will start a new culture of Winter Games in the country," Rijiju told ANI.
The Minister also lauded Gulmarg as the best host of the Winter Games in the world due to its geographic location.
"Jammu and Kashmir have a lot of opportunities. Gulmarg is one of the best place to host a Winter Games in the country and the world because of its landscape and the amount of snowfall it receives. The topography is too suitable for the Games," Rijiju said.
"The tourism industry and youths of Jammu and Kashmir will be encouraged with this. I will also be presented there. It will be a biggest and first-ever game and we will set a benchmark," he added.
The competitions of the Khelo India J-K Winter Games will be held at Kongdori, Gulmarg in four age categories for both boys and girls.
Athletes in the age categories of 19-21 years, 17-18 years, 15-16 years and 13-14 years can compete in Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Boarding and Snow Shoeing. Around 841 athletes and officials will participate in the games being organised by J-K Sports Council and Winter Games Association of J-K, with 15 teams from different states and organisations.
The Union Territory of Ladakh will also host the Khelo India Winter Games in the third week of March.
The Khelo India Ladakh Winter Games will have Open Ice Hockey Championship, Figure Skating, and Speed Skating among others. The competition will be conducted at Block, district and UT levels with an expected participation of about 1700 athletes.
Both the Games will be funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. (ANI)