Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Salahudheen Adnan was having his breakfast on Friday morning, along with his teammates at the Khelo India University Games Athletes Dining Area set up at the Jain University, Bengaluru.
Having arrived at the Games to participate in Men’s Football, Salahudheen, along with his teammates from Mahatama Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, were left impressed with the hospitality and facilities provided for the athletes.
“We are delighted to see how much the organisers, the SAI, the Government of India, and the Government of Karnataka are taking care of us. Food has been managed very well keeping in mind the dietary requirements for athletes,” Salahudheen said.
A special dining area, spread across over 30,000 sqft with a capacity of 9,000 individuals has been set up at the Jain University, with a special protein-rich menu for the athletes. Special areas and grounds for training purposes, state-of-the-art hostel rooms to stay in, and top-level equipment have also been made available to all the participating teams as they gear up for the sporting extravaganza in Bengaluru.
Siwi Boora, Boxer, Kurukshetra University, said she feels like she is at the Olympics. “I’m feeling really good to be here. The management has done a great job. Our accommodation arrangements at the Jain Global University are really good. Looking at all the arrangements here at the Khelo India University Games, it feels like we are competing in the Olympics.”
After their arrival, a group of athletes and the coaches were seen gathered by the Aquatic Centre, as they marvelled at the vibrant atmosphere they were witnessing all around them.
“We saw hoardings and banners of Khelo India University Games 2021 everywhere on our way through to the city, and I was really happy to see such a welcome. Over here, at the Jain University, there is a very enriching sporting atmosphere all around us, which is motivating us to go and win the gold medal this time,” Mahesh Asawale, a member of the Men’s Weightlifting team of Savitribai Phule University, Pune, said.
“It’s great to be here for the Khelo India University Games. Everything is organized very well. KIUG is a great platform for us. It’s a chance for us to see a lot of new things and also learn a lot of new things,” Rajesh Kumar Rajound, Women’s Boxing Team Coach, Kurukshetra University, said.
The KIUG participants, who arrived a couple of days before the start of the KIUG 2021, were also seen making the most of their comfortable stay at the hosts’ venue. On one corner of the Jain University, members of the Women’s Boxing Team of Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, were spotted taking a selfie in front of the specially-designed selfie point at the Jain University Global Campus. On the other corner, the Men’s Football team from Adamas University, Meerut were seen at a hard training session, scorching out in Bengaluru heat.
There were also teams, who upon their arrival, made their intentions to win very clear. With determination in his eyes, and deep passion in his voice, Coach S Dakshinamoorthy, Volleyball Coach, SRM University, said, “This is a very important tournament for our University. We finished with a Silver in the last edition and we are looking to win Gold this year. The venues have been constructed very well, keeping in mind the international standards. The atmosphere here will give the players positive energy.”
“We have been performing well throughout the season and have won everywhere we have gone. So, we are confident we will win again,” Tushar Laware, a member of SRM University’s Volleyball Team added with enthusiasm.
The 2nd edition of the Khelo India University Games will begin on Saturday but there already appears to be great enthusiasm among the athletes and the coaches regarding the sporting spectacle. The passionate teams from the Universities across India will be vying for the top prize, but even if they miss out on medals, many athletes believe they will take precious memories with them. “It is so good to be here. We, obviously, want to win. But if we don’t, I am sure I will not be forgetting my experience here anytime soon,” Salahudheen said. (ANI)