Reforms were being being carried out in the country's sports ecosystem over the past few years, PM Modi said

While sports universities were being opened, there was a need to take sports science and sports management to the school level, Prime Minister Modi said in Friday, highlighting the important role sports plays in creating a nation's identity and image.

This will not only give the country's youth more opportunities but will increase India's participation in the sports economy, he said.

Inaugurating the 2nd Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, he pointed out that many small nations around the world had carved out an identity for themselves by excelling in the field of sports.

Reforms were being being carried out in the country's sports ecosystem over the past few years and the government was going about it with a wholistic approach, he said.

This included Khelo India and the Olympic Podium Scheme, he said, adding that talent was being identified at the grassroots level so that sportspersons could be trained and nurtured systematically.

"Sports has been given a lot of importance in the new education policy as well," the Prime Minister said. Sports would now be a part of the education curriculum, he explained.

"This is a major reform for sports as well as for the students," he said.

Referring to the Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg, he said it would "play an important role in preparing India for the Winter Olympics".

Prime Minister Modi added that the event will help create a new sporting eco-system in the Union Territory.

This would also provide an impetus to tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Modi said, adding that the restrictions and problems due to COVID-19 were also easing gradually.

Khelo India Centres of Excellence were being set up in Jammu and Srinagar; in addition to this Khelo India centres for young sportspersons would come up in all the 20 districts of the Union Territory, he added.

Recalling that the Jammu and Kashmir team had performed exceedingly well in the last edition of the event, he expressed the hope that teams from other states would also put up a good challenge this time.