A spectacle of sports at Youth National Games 2024

- April 29, 2024
| By : Yusra Nazim |

From rigorous selection at grassroots to star-studded collaboration, STAIRS Foundation's debut 'Youth National Games' provides a mammoth platform for sports

Actor Amit Sadh with Taekwondo players during a performative trail

The STAIRS Foundation made a grand debut of the Youth National Games at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium on April 27, launching an action-packed three-day sports extravaganza. With over 5,000 gold medallists hailing from 15 states and union territories, the event is showcasing the talents of young athletes aged 8 to 19, selected through a rigorous process from over 2,000 district championships.

Backed by a team comprising 560 coaches, 490 officials, and 350 volunteers, the event underscores a display of teamwork. A whopping total of 2,00,876 participants, including 1,31,538 males and 69,338 females, are vying for a coveted spot in this prestigious tournament.

Ajit M Sharan, a retired IAS officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at STAIRS, expressed the foundation’s commitment to nurturing grassroots sports talent. “The Stairs Youth National Games epitomise our dedication to fostering sports at the grassroots level,” he remarked, highlighting the significance of providing young athletes with a national platform to showcase their prowess and aspire towards future greatness.

Echoing this sentiment, Siddhartha Upadhyay, President and Founder of the STAIRS Foundation, emphasised the event’s alignment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of bolstering India’s global sports standing, particularly in the Olympics arena. “The STAIRS Youth National Games serve as a robust platform for nurturing young talent and instilling the discipline and values necessary for success at the highest levels,” he emphasised, underlining the foundation’s unwavering commitment to creating and enabling environment for athletes to excel on the global stage.

The core team with actor Amit Sadh

Over the course of three days, athletes competed across a spectrum of sports, including Basketball, Karate, Taekwondo, Badminton, Volleyball, Kabaddi, Table Tennis, Kho Kho, Football, Athletics, Skating, and Cricket, at premier venues such as the Indira Gandhi Stadium and Thyagraj Stadium in Delhi, promising a thrilling showcase of sporting prowess.

Beyond competition, the STAIRS Youth National Games seeks to provide a nurturing environment for personal growth and development, echoing the foundation’s broader mission of empowering youth through sports. As the event unfolded, participants got involved in intense competition and invaluable opportunities for personal and athletic advancement.

Renowned actor Amit Sadh graced the opening ceremony, revealing an exciting collaboration as he announced his partnership with the STAIRS Foundation, of which he is a brand ambassador.

Addressing the gathering at the inaugural ceremony, Sadh expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Being part of STAIRS and this launch is incredibly exhilarating. It’s a powerful movement that resonates deeply with my values and aspirations.” He pledged to work hand in hand with STAIRS to unlock the latent potential of India’s youth, envisioning the creation of a sustainable ecosystem that not only hones sporting talents but also instills vital qualities like discipline, ethics, and resilience. Sadh lauded the platform as a pivotal catalyst for driving transformative change, embracing his role as a catalyst for this noble cause.

The event received a warm commendation from PT Usha, President of the Indian Olympic Association, who lauded STAIRS for its successful organisation of the STAIRS Youth National Games 2024. In a heartfelt video message spanning nearly three minutes, she extended her support and underscored the pivotal role such events play in propelling India towards its Olympic aspirations.

The event commenced with the grand inauguration of the Stairs Youth National Games, followed by captivating demo performances by talented participants. Notable among these were Trisha, a 12-year-old gymnast, alongside mesmerising yoga performances, both solo and group, culminating in a dynamic Taekwondo group showcase.

Post-event, actor Sadh took the time to engage with the young participants, offering words of encouragement and motivation for their future endeavours.