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Volunteers, the backbone of KIYG, excited about being part of the Games

PRESS RELEASE Volunteers, the backbone of KIYG, excited about being part of the Games · Volunteers to be the Face of the Games and Face of Maharashtra · 750 volunteers to get special training · Students, Teachers, Sportspersons form Volunteer force Pune, January 2: Volunteers, who form the backbone of any multi-discipline Games, will once again be a crucial segment of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2019 from January 9 to 20, 2019 in Balewadi, Pune. There is a lot of excitement among the 750 volunteers who have been selected from all over the state and they will be the “Face of the Games” and also the “Face of Maharashtra to the States”. The volunteers have been shortlisted out of the applicants from schools, colleges; and young and experienced sports-related youth from all over Maharashtra. They come from different backgrounds ranging from Sportspersons to Physical Education Teachers to Event management graduates to sports-loving locals. Many of them responded to the advertisements in the newspapers and from announcements at schools, colleges and stadia. Others heard it about it from friends. Siddhant Machutre, a 21-year-old Pune resident, who is from Muktangan English School, says, “Being a sportsmen myself, it naturally sparked interest about (KIYG). When I saw the advertisement, I was very interested. I personally play Football and Cricket at club level in Pune. I think today’s players are fortunate enough to participate in initiatives like these.” Asmita Pathak, a 26-year-old Event Management Diploma holder, who is from Renuka Swarupa School, Pune, said, “Khelo India is good initiative not only for the urbanites but also for athletes from rural areas. I feel very privileged to be a part of KIYG which can be termed as "sports movement" across India. I have done my Diploma in Event Management from Pune and have been attached to sports… I use to play handball in school. This is my first assignment in sports media as such and very happy and excited to be a part of KIYG.” Another volunteer is a 400m hurdler turned marathoner from Nashik, Shruti Pandey, who is in Second Year MA at the Savitribai Phule University. She said, “I have been an avid athlete since my school days. I was participating in 400m hurdle and now recently have started participating in Marathons. I have run races in Nashik and Aurangabad and I feel platforms like (KIYG) will definitely help in fostering sporting talent in our country. I feel very lucky that it would offer me an opportunity to watch the future stars of sports from close quarters.” The two-day session assumes special importance as the Volunteers, who are put through a tailormade training programme, will be the backbone of the Games and perform function in each area of the nearly two-week long gathering. The idea of such training is to have a workforce which will be proud of delivering a successful Games. “The selected volunteers are highly energetic and enthusiastic and passionate about sports. The volunteers are being put through a detailed two-day training programme at the Weightlifting Hall of the Shiv Chhatrapathi Sports Complex, Balewadi, which will see most of the action for close to two weeks,” said Ms. Neelam Kapur, DG, SAI. The initial announcements itself drew huge response and the number of applicants was in excess of the numbers needed. Yogita Shirsat from CDO Meri High School, Nashik, was excited to be part of the KIYG, and added, “When I first heard about KIYG I always wanted to be a part of it as sports is something which is close to my heart. I represented NSCC Club in Football and went on to play at the National Level. KIYG will the help the players in a big way.” Minal Telkar, 18, of Utkarsh English Medium School, is also very excited and keenly awaiting the start of the Games. She says, “I am very excited to be a part of KIYG. I think it’s very useful for sportspersons.” Pratima Shirole, 26, who studied from Government School, and now teaches in Beacon High School, Nigdi, said, “I am a sportperson at heart and I teach basketball, football and fencing at Beacon High School with Basket Ball as a specialization. I am very happy to be a part of KIYG and sometime in future hope that my students play in this mega event.” At the two-day training programme the first day will feature general sessions, while the second day will deal with specific areas as volunteers in the Functional Areas they have been allotted with the Functional Area Heads. Games functions like Accreditation, welcoming participants, dealing with sportspersons and officials, communication and even disaster management will be explained in sessions ranging from 15 to 20 minutes each. A volunteer’s manual and a specialized AV have been created to impart training in a concise, professional manner. Following up on the success of the inaugural Khelo India School Games (KISG), the KIYG will see around 10,000 participants, including over 6,000 athletes, 1,800 technical officials, 750 volunteers and 1,000 other personnel. They will come from 29 states and 7 Union Territories. Conceptualised to revive the sports culture in India at grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country, the Khelo India Youth Games will be held across 18 sporting disciplines in the Under 17 and Under 21 age categories.

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