While the sporting world is still trying to find ways to make a comeback fully after the coronavirus outbreak, the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) along with Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) is all set to uplift the skillset of its players with the introduction of a revolutionary High-Performance Assessment and Scientific Analysis & Evaluation Programme--“Rise in Sports Excellence”—for the very first time.
During a rigorous camp of almost a month, scheduled from January 18 to February 16, 138 players, including 18 women players, will be monitored by vastly experienced experts at Manav Rachna Sports Science Centre in Faridabad and SGT University in Gurugram to develop a pool of athletes who are assessed, scientifically monitored and transformed to become champions of the game.
The Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju along with Rajeev Mehta General Secretary, IOA and popular sporting personalities like India’s individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar, only Indian to win consecutive Olympic medals, and top cricketers Suresh Raina and Mohammed Shami were present on Tuesday to inaugurate the coaching camp, where Kho Kho players have been selected from across the country for one of its kind scientific evaluation program.
The state of art expertise of the country’s top sports-tech institutes—Manav Rachna Sports Science Centre and SGT University, have been roped in to roll out this mammoth initiative.
“I have always believed sports science is the future of sports. To make India a sporting powerhouse, each sport needs to be developed, especially indigenous sports like Kho Kho which is a speed-reliant sport. The federation and Ultimate Kho Kho have done a commendable job in putting together such an exhaustive plan in such a short time. I congratulate Sudhanshuji (Mittal) as well as Amit Burman ji for lending their support. Indian sports need the backing of corporates and the presence of Amit ji surely is a step in the right direction,” said the Sports Minister Rijiju.
A 30-day camp will see players being monitored and analysed. The findings and parameters ranging from sports physiotherapy, rehabilitation, injury management, biomechanics, biokinetics, sports performance analysis, nutritional guidance and posture corrections will be put into action. The training will also mark the resumption of the sport after almost a 10-month gap. This training is compartmentalised in three phases—transition, preparatory and competitive one.
“I would like to thank our Sports Minister, Mr Kiren Rijiju for coming here today and motivating the players. This camp will be a milestone for Sports Science and Technology in developing our players in many ways and am grateful for the support towards development by the Ministry, Sports Authority of India and Ultimate Kho Kho, our partners in this vision development. Our motive will be to create a large pool of players who can be developed into world-beaters and game ready for the upcoming challenges,” KKFI President Sudhanshu Mittal said.
The Ultimate Kho Kho has been instrumental in investing and developing this home-grown sport. Close to 200 crores investment commitment has been made by the league promoter and Dabur group Chairman, Amit Burman for the next five years. While a major share of the investment is focused on the growth and development of grassroots and initiation of this scientific programme will help to build excellence which is key for any sport and its growth, globally.
“I have always focused on thinking ahead of time and developing and promoting ideas into brands. Ultimate Kho Kho is no different as we envision excellence at the grassroots and take the game to the next level. For the game to develop it is key that we introduce technology and upgrade and tap the potentials of our players, make them champions and world beaters, backed with high performance training,” UKK Promoter Amit Burman said.
Adding on the innovations, Tenzing Niyogi, CEO, Ultimate Kho Kho said: “Kho Kho has a deep cultural connect with a massive fan base. Ultimate Kho Kho with its latent demand holds the promise of a blockbuster league. With the influx of sports science changing the dynamics of training in team sports, this camp will help develop the athletes to transform and become champions of the game. During the camp we are also planning to test a new sports technology for tag sports in order to bring ‘edge of the seat’ action for audiences.”
An exhibition match was played where sports celebrities were teamed up with the Kho Kho players as the teams rolled out the fast-paced format which played under the revamped rules that are to be introduced during the Kho Kho league, slated for end of the year. The culmination of the camp will see players participating in a five-day tournament consisting of eight teams divided into two pools where players’ speed and gameplay will also be tested along with agility and strength conditionings.