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Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Khelo India Youth Games 2023

Posted On: 01 FEB 2024 8:33PM

 “Khelo India Youth Games will bring together the resolve, commitment and belief of all athletes and the nation will be a witness to their dedication, self-confidence, never-say-die spirit and passion for extraordinary performances.”


The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2023 were held from January 19–31, 2024 across four cities of Tamil Nadu, namely Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore. Over 5600 athletes participated in this edition of Khelo India Youth Games, spread across 13 days in 15 venues with 26 sporting disciplines, over 275 competitive events along with  one demo sport. The 26 sporting disciplines are a diverse mix of conventional sports such as Football, Volleyball, Badminton etc. and traditional sports such as Kalaripayattu, Gatka, Thang ta, Kabaddi and Yogasana. Silambam, a traditional sport of Tamil Nadu, was introduced as a demo sport for the first time in the history of Khelo India Youth Games.[1] This was the first time that Khelo India Youth Games were held in South India.

Opening ceremony of Khelo India Youth Games 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the opening ceremony of the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on January 19, 2024. He also placed the Games’ torch handed by two athletes on the cauldron marking the inauguration of Khelo India Youth Games. Addressing the gathering as Chief Guest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed everyone to the 13th Khelo India Games and said that it is a great way to begin 2024. He said that the people gathered on the occasion represent a young India, a new India whose energy is taking the country to new heights in the world of sports.


The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of exposure for the athletes and for that emphasized the utility of holding big sporting events in the country. He added that Khelo India Abhiyan is playing the role of finding talent at the ground level that is participating in these mega-events. PM Modi mentioned the 12 Khelo India Games, Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India University Games, Khelo India Winter Games, and Khelo India Para Games as great opportunities to play and find talent. He expressed confidence that the hospitality of Tamil Nadu will win all hearts and that the Khelo India Youth Games will provide the opportunity to showcase the skills. “New friendships made here will also last a lifetime”, he added.[2]


Mascot, logo & Jersey for the games

The mascot for the games was Veera Mangai. Rani Velu Nachiyar, fondly called Veera Mangai, was an Indian queen who waged a war against British colonial rule. The mascot symbolizes the valour and spirit of Indian women, embodying the strength of women power. The logo for the games incorporated the figure of the poet Thiruvalluvar.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar is the mascot of this edition of the games, saying “It is unprecedented for a real-life personality to be chosen as the mascot. Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar is a symbol of women power. Today her personality is reflected in many decisions of the government. With her inspiration, the government is continuously working to empower sportswomen.” He listed women leagues on 20 sports and initiatives like ‘Das kas Dam’ as opportunities to showcase the sporting prowess of women athletes.


All 26 sporting disciplines & 1 demo sport of Khelo India Youth Games 2023

Glimpses of opening ceremony


India’s Recent Successes in Sports


Apart from showcasing local talent as part of the Local for Vocal mantra of PM Modi, efforts are on for international exposure for local talent. Many international tournaments have been organized in India in the last 10 years, including the recently held Beach Games in Diu.

Indias best-ever performance at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, historic performance at the Asian Games and Para Games, and the new record of medals at the University Games are not an overnight success but results of passionate institutional efforts. In the last 10 years, the government reformed, the athletes performed and the entire sports system transformed in India.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the governments resolve to provide international exposure to Indias young athletes and the nation becoming an important center of the global sports ecosystem. Prime Minister said, we are working diligently to host the Youth Olympics in 2029 and the Olympic Games in 2036 in India.”



Sports economy catalyst for nation’s development

Sports is not limited to just the field but is a huge economy in itself creating many employment opportunities for the youth. The government has been making all efforts to increase the share of the sports economy and developing sports-related sectors in the past 10 years.[3] The much focus is on skill development to nurture sports professionals and the creation of a sports equipment manufacturing and services ecosystem in the country. The government is providing a platform to the professionals related to sports science, innovation, manufacturing, sports coaching, sports psychology, and sports nutrition in the country.

The creation of Indias first National Sports University, creation of more than 300 prestigious academies in the country under the Khelo India campaign, 1,000 Khelo India centers and more than 30 centers of excellence are transforming the sports culture in the country. In the new National Education Policy of the country, sports have been made a part of the main curriculum helping create awareness about choosing sports as a career in childhood itself.[4]

Closing ceremony of Khelo India Youth Games 2023

Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports and Information & Broadcasting Shri Anurag Singh Thakur gave away the trophies at the closing ceremony of the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Wednesday. On the occasion, Union Minister Shri Anurag Singh Thakur said “The Khelo India Games envisioned by Honourable Prime Minister is the embodiment of his interest in harnessing the power of the youth and giving them a platform to showcase their talent.”

He also said “Honourable PM has constantly supported the youth, be it attending the opening ceremony of the Khelo India Youth Games in Tamil Nadu during the 11-day Anusthan (self-penance) leading up to the Ram Mandir pratistha or visiting Nashik for Youth Programmes during the same time so as to motivate them. His constant interaction with athletes before, during and after tournaments has been a key reason for their heightened confidence on the field.”


Medal tally of Khelo India Youth Games 2023


Maharashtra finished in the top position with a total of 158 medals (57 gold, 48 silver, 53 bronze) while Tamil Nadu and Haryana took the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, bagging 98 medals (38 gold, 21 silver, 39 bronze) and 103 medals (35 gold, 22 silver, 46 bronze).


To check the full medal tally state-wise, click HERE.


To check the full medal tally sport-wise, click HERE.




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