KIYG gives the feel of international events, says U21 hockey star Sharda Tiwari

by IANS |

Gwalior, Feb 4 (IANS) Shardanand Tiwari, a member of the India Under-21 hockey team, has experience playing at the international level and says the Khelo India Youth Games gives the players the feel of playing in top international competitions.

Tiwari has played in prestigious global events and is in Gwalior to play the Khelo India Youth Games for the fifth time and described KIYG as a platform that gives new players a feel like the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Tiwari, who represented the country in the Junior World Cup held in Bhubaneswar last year, will make his fifth appearance at the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 Madhya Pradesh. He brings quality and experience to this grassroots-level event.

Tiwari, a defender who is on the fringes of the Indian senior team, said, "It is a very good platform. This is especially a good thing for beginners as it gives them the feel of international events. They get to know how events like the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are conducted. Also, new players get to know what kind of talents are there in the country and how to mingle with them."

He said that being a senior player, he takes care that new players (even from other states) do not face any kind of problem and also helps those players who come for tips.

"Players from most of the states know each other. We mix well with each other. This is also a speciality of Khelo India. Here players from different states come to one place and meet each other and share their experiences. We are serious on the field but outside the field, we are all friends," Tiwari, a product of SAI Sports Hostel, Lucknow, was quoted as saying by SAI Media.

There are many good hockey players in Uttar Pradesh (UP). UP has always given good international players to the national team. The state's team has always performed well in Khelo India. In 2018, the UP team lost in the semifinals. In Pune, the team reached the semifinals for the second time but they only struck Gold in Guwahati and then in the last edition of the games they had to settle for a Silver.

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