Kheloge, Kudoge, Banoge Star

Bridging the gap from talent to podium

Almost five years ago, Star set out to turn sports in India into a movement. We took another big step towards making that mission a reality when we became the official broadcasters of the Khelo India School Games in 2018.

‘Khelo India’ is a category defining, holistic sports development programme initiated under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The school games are a dedicated initiative focused at creating a thriving sports culture in the country. Together, Star Sports and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports intend to realize a shared vision of making 30 crore children actively participate in sporting activities for an hour, every day. 

This is a defining time for sports in India. Our athletes are shining on the global stage and becoming true global role-models.  And there are several young sports aspirants across the country who are working hard to realise their potential. This where Khelo India School Games comes in. It fills the gap between education and sports, and creates avenues for the growth of athletes.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore with Sanjay Gupta
“As the national programme for the development of sports, Khelo India will go a long way in achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports”
Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Hon’ble Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports.

For the first time ever, a National school games event was broadcasted on television. Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, believes that it is the start of a revolution. “We are happy to partner with the ministry on this unique initiative. Sports, we believe is as important as formal schooling and needs to accompany and complement formal education to power success. Watching a fellow sportsman or friend on the big screen participating at national level brings together communities. This will, in turn, encourage more people to participate and pursue sports as a career avenue.”

Catch Them Young

There’s an old adage that many of us often heard growing up. It goes ‘Kheloge, Kudoge, Banoge Kharaab (play spoils one’s career)’. This adage perfectly illustrates the prevailing mindset amongst parents, schools and communities - that sports is only a distraction on the path to academic success. At the home of sports, we know that isn’t true. Sports, we believe is as important as formal schooling and needs to accompany and complement formal education to power success,” says Gautam Thakkar, CEO, Star Sports. “It teaches children important life skills such as focus, discipline and teamwork.”

For Khelo India Sports Games, we decided to turn that adage on its head with our ‘Kheloge, Kudoge, Banoge Lajawaab (play makes one awesome)’ campaign. The film features some of India’s biggest sporting legends - from tennis player Leander Paes to wrestler Sakshi Malik - as the torchbearers of this new cultural transformation. “We believe in telling stories that inspire and make you believe that sport is indeed worth investing your time in as a viable career option, a worthwhile pastime and a source of inspiration”, Sanjog Gupta, Executive Vice President, Star Sports.

“We began by reframing the lens with which sports was looked at,” says Kartik Mahadev, Star Sports team. “The idea was to convince Indian society that sports is essential to all-round development.”

With this campaign, the immensely popular Khelo India anthem and the online Khelo India Pledge (taken by over 1.5 million people), we inspired millions of young Indians to take to the field and become a part of the #KheloIndia movement. We even took Khelo India to the streets of the capital city. For two weekends, we converted New Delhi into a massive sporting arena, stationing game vans mounted with punching bags, volleyball and basketball nets, kabaddi mats and archery gear at all of the host city’s 284 wards. “At one point, 400-500 people were waiting in line to play a game of TT,” says Rubal Datta, Star Sports, adding that over one lakh people tried out different sports over four days in just one Delhi park. “We proved that when you put the facilities out there, then people - kids and families - are willing to come out and play.”

Home-grown heroes

At Star, we knew that KISG was much more than a sports tournament. It was the first chance for India to meet the young boys and girls who will be our future sporting heroes. To create an unparalleled broadcast experience for any school level tournament in the world, 10 live and 8 roaming cameras captured all the action across 70 events, covering 16 different sports at multiple venues. Eight hours of live coverage a day across three of our sports channels, as well as Hotstar, were accompanied by highlights aired across our bouquet of channels in Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and the Middle East.

As each day of the Games threw up new emerging stars and potential champions, our production team of over 100 specialists worked 24 hours a day to tell their stories to the rest of the world. Our player stories profiles - broadcast both on television and online - helped transform these young champions into household names overnight. We believe that these stories - of determination, hard work and grit - will serve as an inspiration for millions more.

Nisar Ahmed

Srihari Natraj

Tai Bamhane

Take Nisar Ahmed, the son of a domestic help worker and rickshaw-puller from Delhi; his journey has taken him from a 10x10 feet room in Azadpur to a training camp in the Racer’s Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica where Usain Bolt once trained. The 15-year-old postponed his trip to Jamaica to take part in the Khelo India School Games, where he won the 100m gold and broke the national u-16 record despite running the race twice in 20 minutes. He was so focused on winning that he missed the recall whistle after a false start and went all out. Then with only 20 minutes to recover, he did it again. On receiving the medal, Nisar said, “I want to use this scholarship to explode the myth that Indians can’t run under 10 seconds (100m).”

And there’s Tai Bamhane - one of 261 girls who participated in the games - who won the gold in the 800m race. The15 year old Warli tribal, daughter of two farm labourers, ran the two-lapper with the assurance and fearlessness of a seasoned runner, beating two rivals who had clocked faster times in the semi-final heats. Manu Bhaker has gone on to win two Golds at the ISSF world cup in Mexico, youngest Indian to win Gold at a world cup event. Leading by example, these athletes will be the catalysts for India’s new sporting revolution.

The spectacular viewership of about 102 million* (including Doordarshan) that we have received for KISG is a testament to the support and intent that India has shown towards embracing sports. Over the next five years, we’ll continue to bring you their stories, and the stories of the others who join them on the field. We will continue to support the Khelo India movement in all formats, from college games to rural and indigenous sports. And we’ll continue to create content that pushes young India towards a fitter and healthier tomorrow.

 *Source: BARC

 

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