At the send-off ceremony of the athletes at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was present along with Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya, Director General SAI, Sandip Pradhan, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, Ajay Singh and other dignitaries, besides London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom.
"Khelo India has been incredible at unearthing young talents who can be groomed to bring laurels for the country and its mission has been to introduce state-of-the-art facilities to athletes from the grassroots level. I hope this unique partnership will further strengthen our commitment towards giving the best possible facilities to our athletes," said Rijiju at the event.
The presence of the six-time world champion Mary Kom was a bonus for the young stars, many of whom look up to the boxing queen. The Manipuri legend took her time to interact with the athletes and motivated them before they boarded the flight.
"In my early days I would struggle to buy even a pair of gloves. It is heartening to see Indian sports have come a long way. It's really great and encouraging to see an amazing flying experience is being provided to these budding stars," said Mary Kom.
The 13-day tournament will see 35 states and union territories battle it out in 20 disciplines at the Khelo India Games this time. To ensure a completely smooth and hassle-free journey for the athletes, the airline has come up with flexibility of baggage allowance (as players require more baggage allowance), cancellation or replacement of last-minute passengers and provision of meals for the convenience of the participants.
SpiceJet will be running eight dedicated flights between Delhi-Guwahati and Kolkata-Guwahati sectors on Wednesday and on January 14 and 15.