Leh: The Union Territory of Ladakh will soon have a Khelo India Centre of Excellence as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Sports Authority of India and Union Territory of Ladakh’s sports department here on Friday.
It was the perfect gift for the UT on a day the Khelo India Winter Games 2024 opening ceremony was held at the Nawang Dorjay Stobdan Stadium. The UT was hosting its maiden major national event.
Fifteen states and two public institutions are taking part in ice hockey and ice skating events over five days.
The second part of the Winter Games will be held in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir from February 21-25.
The Khelo India Centre of Excellence in Ladakh will provide a big boost to sportspersons in this challenging region. The centre will serve three sports — athletics, archery and boxing.
Despite the chilly weather, a motley turnout at the NDS Stadium witnessed traditional folk dances during the opening ceremony and were treated to some foot-tapping music by the popular local band, Dashugs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a special message for the Khelo India Winter Games 2024.
An exhibition ice-hockey match between UT-Ladakh and Indo-Tibetan Border Police set the ball rolling. A thrilling 500m short-track ice skating by a team of girls from across India was an additional treat.
The first medals of the Khelo India Winter Games were also decided on Day 1. Eklavya Jagal of Uttar Pradesh won the gold in the under-17 short track (300m) skating for boys. He clocked 31.81 seconds.
In the boys 17-plus short track skating, Karnataka’s Akash Aradhya (32.81) won the gold medal.