The 27th National Junior Athletics Championship kicked off in the capital on Monday at a colourful ceremony in Hotwar’s mega sports somplex.
Altogether, 1,585 athletes from 27 states, including 619 female athletes, are participating in this meet in Under-14, Under-16, Under-18 and Under-20 categories.
Twenty athletes from Services will also participate in the four-day event.
It promises to be a big-ticket event for the youngsters, as their performance can earn them berths for the Asian Junior Athletic Championship.
On Monday, 17 states took part in the march past, while the rest will arrive later.
The Kerala contingent, comprising 143 athletes, led the parade, while hosts Jharkhand with 108 participants brought up the rear, marching to the tune of St Francis School band.
The colourful inaugural ceremony held under floodlights also included dances, fireworks and speeches by Jharkhand Assembly Speaker C.P. Singh, Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) president R.K. Anand and JOA general secretary S.M. Hashmi, Ranchi University pro-vice chancellor V.P. Sharan, Athletic Federation of India (AFI)’s senior vice-president Professor K. Ranga Rao, as well as Jharkhand Athletic Association’s president M.K. Pathak.
To ensure a smooth flow of events, 110 coaches and managers, 40 volunteers, as well as 150 technical officials will monitor the championship. Technical officials, in particular, will work under the supervision of C.K. Walson, chairman of the AFI technical committee.