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Assam govt aims to make Guwahati sporting capital of India

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Guwahati, Dec 29 (IANS) With the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) just a few days away, the Assam state government has not only focussed on conducting the games successfully but has looked to create a sporting culture in the state.

During a meeting chaired by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, officials decided to organise a Village Olympics Talent Hunt for all the tea gardens and panchayats in Assam. The funding for academics and training costs for those selected through the talent hunt will be borne by the Assam government.

“The Assam state government has approved a budget of Rs 104 crore for the third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games. This will be the biggest youth event in the country. The competition will empower the young generation and help realise their potential. I would like to thank the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the Khelo India Youth Games initiative forward. The upcoming athletes can utilise this platform and take India to great heights,” said Sonowal.

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The state government has approved the funds for 500 new playing grounds across the state. To boost the morale of the Assam athletes, the gold, silver and bronze medallists at the Khelo India Youth Games will be given Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 each respectively.

The state government has introduced a sports policy for the first time to spot talent. If an athlete wins an Olympic gold, then the player will be given Rs 1 crore as cash prize, while an athlete will receive Rs 50 lakh if he or she wins Asian Games or Commonwealth Games gold.

A sports university will be included in the Assam academic structure. The infrastructure for football and archery is already being set up. In addition, the state government is looking to manufacture sports goods and develop sports science and medicine universities.

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The Sports Authority of India (SAI), as a partner for the KIYG, has exclusive responsibilities which include branding of venues, technical conduct, apparel and kits, travel arrangements of the contingents, media and public relations and so on. The SAI will provide complete technical knowhow for the games including providing technical support in finalizing the required infrastructure and equipment.

STAR TV will telecast the games live on all days as part of an arrangement with SAI. For the first time, an official airline partner – Spicejet – has come on board to provide a smooth travel experience to the participants. In order to provide technical know-how, the International Institute of Sports Management and Symbiosis, Pune has been roped in as knowledge partners by SAI.

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