The 5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) opened with a glittering function at the Tatya Tope stadium here on Monday evening.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, along with Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur and state Sports Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia lit the inaugural lamp to kick-start the 13-day-long sporting event.
As per the schedule, around 6,000 athletes from across the country will compete in 27 sporting disciplines.
The KIYG will be held at 23 venues across eight cities of the state, including Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur Mandla, Balaghat and Khargone, while the cycling event will take place in Delhi.
Addressing the gathering of athletes, Chouhan said KIYG as a sporting event will groom the players for future international competitions like the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.
“The Khelo India Youth Games will be historic for Madhya Pradesh,” Chouhan said.
Speaking on the occasion, Anurag Thakur said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned a budget of Rs 3,200 crore for the Khelo India programme for the next five years.
“For the first time, sporting disciplines like kayaking, canoeing, canoe slalom and fencing will be part of the Khelo India Youth Games,” Thakur said.