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New Delhi : PM Narendra Modi on January 31, 2018, declared the first edition of the ‘Khelo India School Games’ open, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. Addressing the gathering, the PM said sports should occupy a central place in the lives of our youth. Sports is an important means of personality development, he added.

The PM exhorted youngsters to devote time to games amid their busy schedules. Referring to the eminent sportspersons present in the gathering, he said they too would have faced many obstacles but they did not give up and went on to distinguish themselves. India does not lack sporting talent, the Prime Minister asserted. “We are a youthful nation and we can do even better in sports,” he added, according to a PIB release.

Explaining the significance of India growing on the world stage, the PM said this does not only mean having a strong army and powerful economy. It includes people of India distinguishing themselves as scientists, artists, sportspersons etc, he said. He expressed confidence that India will scale these heights adding that he trusts India’s youth.

Khelo India is not only about winning medals, he said. It is an effort to give strength to a mass movement for playing more, he explained. We want to focus on every aspect that would make sports more popular across the nation, he added.

PM Modi said it is gladdening to see youngsters from rural India and smaller cities excelling as sportspersons. These are also youngsters who need support, which the Government wants to provide, he added.

Those who love sports play for passion not for monetary rewards, the Prime Minister said. This is why athletes are special, he added. When an Indian sportsperson wins and when he or she gets to hold the Tricolour, it is an extremely special feeling and it energises the entire nation, the Prime Minister said.

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