Record 25 lakh to participate in Khel Mahakumbh

A record 25 lakh athletes, including seven lakh women and one lakh differently-abled, will be participating in the 3rd Khel Mahakumbh which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday.

Nearly 18 lakh athletes had participated in the Khel Mahakumbh in 2011, a programme initiated by the state government to encourage participation in sports by students and youngsters alike.

The nearly one-month long event includes various games from kabbadi and kho-kho to hockey and football, which are held at various places across the state. It will conclude on February 13.

Speaking at the inauguration, Modi said the government was working towards creating sports schools in every district.

It was because of the Assembly elections that the sporting event for 2012 was being held now, he said, adding that this year there would be two Khel Mahakumbhs — one of 2012 (being held now) and the other of 2013, which will take place later in the year.

"We have seen during Khel Mahakumbh that our players have broken own records and I am sure due to initiatives such as Khel Mahakumbh, increased professionalism and healthy competition, a day is not far when Gujarat's sportspersons will break national records," Modi said.

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