Jalandhar: One of the biggest sporting extravaganzas of the country, ‘Khedan Watan Punjab Dian’ today began with a great pomp and show as the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, inaugurated this mega sporting event here at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium.

The Chief Minister took salute from the impressive march past of the participating contingents of various districts. Announcing the opening of this around two months long much awaited gala sporting event, Bhagwant Mann said that in this mega event more than 4 lakh players in different six age groups are expected to participate in the competitions from block to the state level in 28 sports categories. He said that that the state-level winners will be given cash prizes worth Rs 6 crore adding that these games will be annual feature from the coming years.

“I am elated to see Punjab happy and the youth in field of sports”, said the Chief Minister.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said that the state government has been making all out efforts for promoting sports across the state to channelize the unbounded energy of youth in a positive manner. He said that these games were a right step towards this direction as it will provide platform to the players for showcasing their latent. Bhagwant Mann asserted that likewise it will also help the state government to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the players which will be beneficial for grooming them for the national and international events in future.

Congratulating the Sports Minister for organizing these games, the Chief Minister said that Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer deserves kudos for making all these arrangments. He said that it is a matter of great pride for the entire state that these games are being held in every nook and corner of Punjab. Bhagwant Mann said that these games will be made a regular feature in the coming years too.

The Chief Minister said that the state government is leaving no stone unturned to popularize sports in the state as it can be play a key role in progress of the state. Bhagwant Mann said that Punjab has became the first state in the country to felicitate its players who had brought laurels for the country in the commonwealth games. He asserted that it is the need of hour to encourage more budding players to excel in field of sports.

The Chief Minister said that the games will provide an opportunity to the youth to excel in field of sports. He said that Punjab and sports have a strong bond. Bhagwant Mann said that the youth of the state have an inherit talent but the successive governments have failed to provide requisite infrastructure.

The Chief Minister asserted that the players will be provided the state of art infrastructure and world class facilities. He said that apart from inspiring us to fight against tyranny, injustice and oppression the great Guru sahiban have showed us way to stay healthy by taking part in sports. Bhagwant Mann said that we must follow footsteps of great gurus and participate in the games.

Meanwhile, cultural performances by the school kids mesmerized the audience with their dazzling performance. Leading Punjabi singers Nooran sisters, Amrit Mann and Ranjit Bawa entertained the audience. On the occasion wonders kids stunned the audiences with their skating and gymnastic performances.

Earlier, Olympian Baljit Dhillon and Manjit Kaur brought the baton of games and Olympian Gurjit Kaur triggered of games flame from the stage.

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