Khelo India, Jo Khelega Woh Khilege (Play India! The one who plays sport is the one who blossoms)," the legend on a side of the float said. A collage of photographs of Indias sporting heroes including Olympic medallists celebrated their success, inspiring millions of youngsters to take to sport.
A small team of malkhamb exponents, dressed in traditional attire, braved the chill to showcase the ancient Indian sport. They used a Seesham (rosewood) pole to perform various exercises and get into a formation with the athlete on top of the pole balancing another above him. There is no doubt that the malkhamb team took everyones breath away.
A couple of boxers sparred in a ring with a referee watching the proceedings with an eagle eye. Women weightlifters on two sides of the boxing ring and a Games flame were also on float. At the tail-end of the float was a replica of the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with the figure of legendary archer Arjuna on top of the revolving world.
The presence of a TV cameraman on the float, capturing images of the malkhamb team from different angles was testimony to the importance of the media in telling stories of human endeavor and valour. Sports equipment, including a pair of boxing gloves, a football, a cricketers helmet, a tennis racquet, were on display
The inaugural Khelo India School Games will be held from January 31 to February 8 in five venues that have staged the Asian Games 1982 and Commonwealth Games 2010. More than 3200 athletes in 16 disciplines will vie for 198 gold medals. The Khelo India School Games, to be broadcast live by the Star Sports network, would expectedly be the first step in a seamless journey to podium.
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