New Delhi: In what can be termed as a massive boost to the Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK), the Odisha government has taken ownership of a team in the soon-to-be-launched professional league. It will be the second direct sports venture for the Odisha government, which also owned a team—Kalinga Lancers—in the Hockey India League in 2013.
The announcement comes days after Odisha won silver medals in both boys and girls categories in Kho Kho during Khelo India Youth Games 2022. The Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company (OSDPC)-owned team will be the fifth franchise in the league.
“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 Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik’s vision for sports in Odisha,” said Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Shri Tusharkanti Behera.
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.
OSDPC is collaborating with leading steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited (AM/NS India) and will be working closely in Ultimate Kho Kho.
“Sports Odisha has been one of the key factors in the sporting revolution of India. Their focussed 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 Mr. Tenzing Niyogi.
Ultimate Kho Kho had earlier announced four franchises. Corporate giants ADANI Group and GMR Group bagged Gujarat and Telangana franchises while Capri Global and KLO Sports are the owners of Rajasthan and Chennai teams respectively.
Ultimate Kho Kho has roped in Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) 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.
About Ultimate Kho Kho:
The concept of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK) was conceived to usher in a new era for India’s very own game, which is popular in the rural areas but has not yet made an impression on urban kids and sports lovers.
India’s first professional Kho-Kho league UKK is a collaboration between Dabur India Ltd.’s Chairman- Mr. Amit Burman and Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) (India’s official Kho Kho federation). Ultimate Kho Kho is an initiative for supporting the development of this indigenous game in a professional and structured manner.
The aim is to bring this homegrown sport to the forefront and develop UKK into a sought-after league in the country.
The Ultimate Kho Kho envisions revolutionising Kho-Kho in India, elevating it to international standards and providing an opportunity to young talent to showcase their skills on a big and world-class platform.
UKK has roped in Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) as its official broadcasting partner in a multi-year deal as the thrilling action from the league will be available live on SPNI’s sports channels as well as on SonyLIV app.