Embarking upon the journey towards establishing a culture for sports, while identifying and nurturing talent at grassroot level, first of its kind of Rural Sports Tournament Sansad Star Khel Mahakumbh was launched in June 2019 by Mr. Anurag Thakur and Mr. Sachin Tendulkar.
The initiative witnessed matches with participation from over 1400 teams, 42,700 youth across sports disciplines such as Basketball, Volleyball, Football, Kabaddi and Cricket. The initiative involved athletes hailing from 20 blocks, 800 panchayats and over 5000 villages. To ensure that the athletes get best of the platform to showcase their skills alongside ample motivation to take sports as a career, all the athletes were given proper playing kits, certificates, medals and cash prize over 20 lakh.
The opening ceremonies held across blocks were graced by the likes of:
• Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Former Chief Minister
• Sh. Govind Thakur, Sports Minister
• Sh. Hans Raj, Deputy Speaker
• Sh. Suresh Bhardwaj, Education Minister
• Sh. Virender Kanwar, Rural Development Minster
• Sh. Bikram Singh, Industry Minister
• Sh. Mahendra Singh, IPH Minister
• Dr. Rajeev Bindal, Speaker of Himachal Pradesh Assembly, etc.
amongst many other key dignitaries.
To ensure that youth from all walks of participated in this mega sports tournament, a musical night by the much famous Punjabi singer Sharry Mann too was organized. Not only did this initiative promote the culture of sports among youth but it also worked towards keeping them engaged in a constructive manner and thus keeping them away from falling prey to drugs.
The impact of the initiative can be gauged from the fact that it has created a new league of sports enthusiasts. At a couple of locations, post matches, it could be witnessed that kids imitated the actions performed by the athletes during matches. This has been one of the most encouraging things to see and this has indeed set the pace for youth to pursue sports at grassroots level.
In the continued bid to serve the society, Khel Mahakumbh 2.0, is undergoing and is bigger and better with additional sports disciplines, thus ensuring greater participation, talent identification & connecting the right dots for making a career in sports and certification from Sports Skills Council to all the participants, thus promoting the culture of sports.
The key highlights of Khel Mahakumbh 2.0 so far are as follows:
• Athletics (100,200,400 & 1600 M)
Prize money: 50 lakh (more than double from last time) · Prize money at every constituency and parliamentary level · Gratification to players:
• Prize Money
• Certificates from Sports Skills Council to all the participants
• And above all recognition in their society
Sansad Khel Mahakumbh today has become a case study with regards to involving youth in sports & is being followed as a model across several States.