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Second annual State level Mega sports Event Khel Mahakumbh 2011 inaugurated at Vadodara by CM

“Gujarat to set up Sports University, beach sports along its long seacoast”

“Record 60,000 physically challenged, 27,000 kabaddi teams to take part”

– Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Monday: The second annual state-level month-long mega sports event, christened Khel Mahakumbh, has invited registration by record 21-lakh athletes in different events this year, surpassing last year’s participation by 14-lakh athletes.

Inaugurating the impressive opening ceremony at the Maharaja Sayajirao University Ground in Vadodara, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today announced that Gujarat would soon set up the Gujarat Sports University to encourage youths of the state excel in sports fields too, along with other avocations. He also announced his decision to start beach sports along its long 1,600-km coastline, to place Gujarat in international sports map.

The ceremony began with a colourful march past and cultural show, including a group dance by 4,200 sportswomen and sportsmen to the tune of a theme song, followed by song dance by famous film star Akshay Kumar, reflecting the enthusiasm and energy of the athletes – with a galaxy of 50 celebrated sportspersons in the spectators’ pavilion.

The preparation for this year’s 2nd Khel Mahakumbh began with lighting of the torch in Ahmedabad on 11-11-11, which toured across Gujarat to arrive in Vadodara today.

Speaking on the occasion, CM said that it was for the first time that a special Olympic for 60,000 physically challenged, and beach sports for 3,500 athletes from the fishing community will be held during this year’s Khel Mahakumb. Over 27,000 kabaddi teams expected to participate during the Khel Mahakumbh is also set to create a record of sorts.

He wished this state-wide Khel Mahakumbh would generate youth’s interest in sports and emergence of a sports culture, which was missing so far. He stressed on the need for infusing sporting spirit in the genes of Gujaratis, in every town, every village and every house. Unfortunately, he said, even the nation of 120-crore lacked that sports culture. He said that Gujarat would rope in Chinese sports management experts to provide adequate physical infrastructure, training and coaching facilities.

Sports Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela said the idea of Khel Mahakumbh is the Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s gift to Gujarat in the year of its golden jubilee celebration.

Film star Akshay Kumar described Mr. Modi as a true sports lover and one who instilled the competition among youth. He exuded confidence that Mr. Modi’s slogan of ‘Ramshe Gujarat, Jitshe Gujarat’ would soon materialize into ‘Jitshe Hindustan’.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Vadodara District Guardian Minister Nitin Patel, other ministers, parliamentary secretaries, legislators, office-bearers, Sports Secretary Bhagyesh Jha, Gaekwad princely family members Ranjit Singhji, Dr. Mrinalini Devi and Shubahngini Devi.

Source: Gujarat Information Bureau

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