With kho kho getting popular in the country by the day, Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) general secretary Mahender Singh Tyagi on Friday said that foreign nations have shown interest in the game as sixteen nations, including South Africa and Korea, visited India before lockdown to learn the indigenous sport from Indian coaches.
“A delegation of around 16 nations -- like South Africa, Kenya, Korea -- came to India to learn Kho Kho from us. They want to promote Kho Kho in their respective nations. We provided them a coach who taught them about the technicalities of the sport.
“When they left for their respective nations, they promised us that they will promote kho kho in their countries and would also hold tournaments in the near future.
“Even, we had a plan to organise a tournament with some foreign countries but because of COVID-19 pandemic, everything got stalled,” Mr Tyagi said.
The KKFI senior official further said that the federation is staying in touch with its athletes and the coaches are helping athletes to remain fit in the time of Coronavirus.
“In case any athlete needs any help related to sport, our federation helps them. We want our players to be fit both mentally and physically at the time of pandemic. We keep talking to them on a regular basis and listen to their problems if any,” Mr Tyagi said.
The official also said that Kho Kho is gaining popularity among youngsters and the credit for the rise goes to KKFI President Sudhanshu Mittal and also Indian Olympic Association (IOA) General Secretary Rajeev Mehta.
“Mr Sudhanshu Ji, Mr Rajeev Ji and our entire team is working day and night to promote this sport. And it is really gaining popularity. I have full faith that our sport will grow not only in India but also abroad.
“I also feel proud to inform you that recently in Jakarta during Asian Championship, Kho Kho got official recognition. We have a plan to host a World Championship also and work related to this is on. There was league in November this year but because of COVID-19 it got postponed and when we will finalise the next dates for it, we will share it,” Mr Tyagi added.
The KKFI general secretary also showered praises on Arjuna Awardee Sarika Kale.
“Such big awards help in bringing positivity and energy among athletes and federations to work more. I want to congratulate Sarika for this award and also want to thank the sports ministry for picking a Kho Kho player for the prestigious award. We will continue to perform better and better,” he concluded.