Khelo India University Games in Odisha

Khelo India will make country a powerhouse in sport: Deepak Thakur

Bhubaneswar: Former India hockey player Deepak Thakur believes the Khelo India initiatives by the Government of India will propel sports to the next level, even transform the country into a global powerhouse in the not too distant future.

Deepak, who is at the Khelo India University Games 2020 as a talent scout, said, “It is a great initiative by the Ministry of Sports and the Sports Authority of India. It is very important to create a sporting culture for people of all age groups.

“It should have begun a long time ago but I’m happy it is happening now. I have been here for the past few days as a talent scout, and the atmosphere and the facilities are very similar to what we get at the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games. This will spur a number of youngsters to set greater targets. If this continues, India will become a huge sporting nation soon,” he added.

 “I got to watch most of the disciplines here, and the standards that the athletes are displaying are really high. It has improved a lot over the years and it makes you feel jealous because when I was playing, we did not have these opportunities. Times have changed for the good,” said Thakur.

Deepak also added that any youngster who is deserving at the Games will get help from the Government.

Asked if the Khelo India University Games 2020 would help find more Olympians from the country, Deepak said, “It is not about finding Olympians in our country anymore, that era is over. It is about finding medallists. I’m very sure the hockey team will win a medal at the next Olympics. I’m confident about this because so much development has happened over the years.”