Excelsior Sports Correspondent
LEH, Feb 2, 2024: The Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) attended the opening ceremony of the 4th edition of Khelo India Winter Games 2024 as the chief guest at the NDS Ice Hockey Stadium, Leh.
Welcoming the participants, their parents and officials to Ladakh, the LG appreciated Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for his personal intervention and interest in encouraging and promoting sportspersons of India which changed the face of Indian sports over the last one decade. Terming ice hockey an incredible and engaging sport, he expressed his happiness over watching an ice hockey match live for the first time in his life. He stated that ice hockey players display a combination of play, skating skills and speed/manoeuvring control and deserve all praise.
Stating that sports is being prioritised in Ladakh, the LG informed about various initiatives being taken to develop infrastructure and provide equipment to the sportspersons from the region. He stated that the UT Administration is committed to developing and promoting high-altitude sports in Ladakh so that local players can participate in national and international tournaments and bring laurels to the country. He assured to provide all necessary training, facilities and equipment to the players to enable them to shine at national and international levels.
The LG informed about the construction of the state-of-the-art ice hockey rink for organising round-the-year ice hockey events in Ladakh. Terming the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UT Administration and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to develop the Khelo India Centre of Excellence in athletics, boxing and archery as important; he stated that the Centre of Excellence would help in providing the best facilities to the players and improve the standard of sports in Ladakh.
Deputy Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Tsering Angchuk, thanked the Ministry of Youth Services and Sports, for giving Ladakh the opportunity to host the Khelo India Winter Games for the first time. Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, UT Ladakh Ravinder Kumar informed about various initiatives taken by the Administration to develop and promote winter sports. The MoU was signed and exchanged between UT Ladakh and SAI for the development of the Khelo India Excellence Centre in athletics, boxing and archery on the occasion. The Khelo India AV was also screened on the occasion. There were also dance and music performances on the occasion.
An exhibition match was played between UT Ladakh and the ITBP men’s team which ended in a 0-0 draw. A short-track ice skating demonstration was given by girls on the occasion.