Odisha Enters Ultimate Kho Kho League, Patners Arcelor Mittal Group
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has acquired ownership of a team for the inaugural edition of the league Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK), set to kick off in 2022.
The Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company (OSDPC)-owned team will be the fifth franchise in the league. The OSDPC is collaborating with leading steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited (AM/NS India) and will be working closely in Ultimate Kho Kho, an official release said.
“Kho Kho is very popular in many parts of Odisha. In the recent Khelo India Youth Games, our boys and girls played well and won the silver medals. Since it’s a traditional game, we have huge scope to develop it further in the state. Therefore, we have decided to participate in the Kho Kho league. This is part of our Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s vision for sports in Odisha,” Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Tusharkanti Behera, said in a statement.
It will be the second direct sports venture for the government, which also owned a team–Kalinga Lancers–in the Hockey India League in 2013.
It is worth mentioning here that Odisha had won silver medals in both boys and girls categories in Kho Kho during the recently Khelo India Youth Games.
“Sports Odisha has been one of the key factors in the sporting revolution of India. Their focused approach in developing a sport has been impressive. They have created an environment that has encouraged many corporate investments to create access for grassroots development and future champions. And now their association with Ultimate Kho Kho, is a great sign for the development of the sport,” said Ultimate Kho Kho CEO Tenzing Niyogi.
In the last decade, the Naveen Patnaik-led government has not only hosted some of the major sports events in the country but also developed world-class multi-sport infrastructure.
Last week, the UKK welcomed Capri Global and KLO Sports as the owners of Rajasthan and Chennai teams respectively. It had earlier announced the association of corporate giants Adani Group and GMR Group as the owners of Gujarat and Telangana franchises.
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has been roped in as its broadcast partner with an exclusive multi-year contract. The action from the league will be broadcast across Sony’s sports channels and also on the OTT platform SonyLIV in English as well as other regional languages.