- Khelo India Women’s Under 21 Jockey League was inaugurated by sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Wednesday.
- The first phase of the tournament will witness 42 matches followed by the second and third phases early next year.
- President of the Indian Olympic Association, Narendra Batra commended this venture by the SAI (Sports Authority of India) and Ministry of Youth Affairs.
Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports set in motion the Khelo India Women’s U-21 Hockey League at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Wednesday. The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik along with the President of the Indian Olympic Association, Narendra Batra were among the other dignitaries present at the occasion.
The winner of the Khelo India league will be entitled to a cash reward of Rs 15 lakh from Hockey India and another 15 lakh from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The first phase of the tournament will witness 14 teams battling it out from 15th to 21st December. A total of 42 matches will be played in this initial phase followed by the second and third phases which are scheduled early next year.
Anurag Thakur underlined the importance of such leagues amidst congratulating the Sports Authority of India and Hockey India for establishing the Khelo India league through conjunctive efforts. Thakur added that although Indian athletes train extremely hard throughout the year, they must get exposure to the competitions which would make them future-ready to tackle bigger face-offs.
Anurag also mentioned that in the times to come, similar leagues will be held for other sports disciplines. Welcoming the players to the emblematic venue, he communicated that this was the first major programme being held at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium since 2015.
President of the Indian Olympic Association, Narendra Batra, expressed his confidence saying that the league would do wonders with respect to spreading hockey to every corner of the country. Acknowledging the initiative to be a noteworthy one, he extended full support to the efforts poured in by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Sports Authority of India in the past 5-6 years mentioning that their positive attitudes were key to the exceptional performance of hockey in the Olympics this year.