New Delhi, December 18, 2020: The Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the formal recognition of Yogasana as a competitive sport at a joint press conference held by the Union Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH Shripad Naik, and the Union Minister of State (IC) for Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijjju in New Delhi yesterday.
While addressing, Naik traced the origins of Yoga competitions to the Indian Yoga tradition, where such competitions have been held for centuries. He said that they are still being conducted today at multiple levels, but a strong and sustainable structure to impart national visibility to the competitions is yet to emerge. He further said that the Government decision to recognise Yogasana as a competitive sport comes after 3-4 years of wide consultations with the stakeholders of the Yoga sector. The Minister also said that Yoga is an integral and important component of Yoga, which is psycho-physical in nature and popular across the globe for its efficacy in fitness and general wellness.
He further said “Yogasana becoming a sport will also ensure new technologies and new strategies being inducted into the disciplines, to benefit our athletes and officials towards building fruitful and fulfilling careers in this field”.
On this occasion, while addressing the media persons Kiren Rijjju, said that the competitions that will arise out of the recognition of Yoga as a sport will enhance interest in Yoga among people around the globe. He also said that both Ministries have been closely working together to establish Yoga as a competitive sport. He further said that we are planning to include Yoga as a Sport discipline in Khelo India and in the University Games and we will also pitch it at the National Games but the aim and objective of any sport is to be included in Olympics and this is a beginning of a long journey. Rijiju also said that Yogasana is going to become a very beautiful, attractive and popular sport.
The Secretary AYUSH gave a presentation and explained that the sports discipline of Yoga is likely to have 51 medals in 4 events & 7 categories. The proposed events for both men and women include Traditional Yogasana, Artistic Yogasana (Single), Artistic Yogasana (Pair), Rhythmic Yogasana (Pair), Free Flow/Group Yogasana, Individual All Round – Championship and Team Championship.
Secretary also informed the following steps or activities will form part of the road map and the future development of Yoga Sport:
A pilot Yogasana Competition named as “National Individual Yogasana Sports Championship (Virtual Mode) to be held in early 2021.
Launching of an Annual Calendar of competitions, events and programs of Yoga sport.
Development of Automated Scoring System for the Yogasana Championship.
Courses for Coaches, Referees, Judges and Directors of competitions.
Coaching camps for players.
Launch of a League of Yogasana, to ensure a career and social status for performers, experts and practitioners, to create Sports Stars among Yoga athletes.
To introduce Yoga as a Sport discipline in National Games, Khelo India and international sports events.
Steps to create job opportunities for Yoga athletes.