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Rio bound Indian Olympic Contingent receives wishes from 150,000 children

The Spirit of Sports Campaign initiated by LeapStart brought together the children to convey best wishes to the Indian athletes.

Johnson Grammar School Habsiguda
Students from the Johnson Grammar School Habsiguda 

LeapStart, a physical education programme from FitKids Education and Training,in partnership with Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), JSW Sports and GoSports Foundation, recently unfolded a nation-wide campaign in 130 schools, covering 45 cities and over 150,000 children to bid farewell and offer encouragement to the Indian athletes who will be leaving for the 2016 Olympic and Paralymic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The campaign offered school children from across the country an opportunity of a lifetime to send their wishes to the Indian Olympic contingent by writing personalised messages to their favorite athlete on a piece of cloth that was provided to all schools. The campaign reached out to children not only in major metro cities but also in tier 2 and 3 cities like Rohtak, Rajpura, Hosur, Mangalore, Erode, Irungattukottai, Rajahmundry and Kurnool.

Together with the partners, LeapStart arranged for interactive sessions between the athletes and the children at their respective training centers where children presented the pieces of cloth with the wishes.

Speaking on behalf of the female wrestling team,Vinesh Phogat said ,“It was a brilliant gesture from everyone at LeapStart to present all these messages of support. They keep pepping us up. It was wonderful to receive the signed clothes and I think I speak for Sakshi and Babita when I say that it has already become one of our prized possessions”

The campaign saw messages presented to ace shooter Heena Sidhu, shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, Para-swimmer Suyash Jadhav, boxer Vikas Krishnan and the three marathon runners - Nitendra Singh Rawat, T Gopi and Kheta Ram. Boxer Vikas Krishan said, “Meeting the kids, sharing a few stories and feeling their enthusiasm really gave me a big lift. It was really heartening to see the children being so interested in Olympics. I am sure all the good wishes will help in motivating me to achieve glory for the nation at Rio.”

Indian hockey team
The Indian hockey team with the signed cloth

“All the athletes have worked tirelessly and made huge sacrifices to reach the Olympics and it is important that they know that the country stands with them. It is also important to make children aware of the spirit of the Olympics, what it stands for, and hear stories first hand from the athletes themselves”, said Dhruv Nagarkatti, CEO, LeapStart.

Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports said, “This is a wonderful initiative by LeapStart and all of us here at JSW Sports appreciate the effort and the time that the children have invested in this project. Everyone's support is crucial for our athletes to shine at the Games and this is a great step towards showing that we are all firmly behind all our athletes as they begin their quest for Olympic glory. ”

Viren Rasquina, Ex - India Hockey Captain and CEO Olympic Gold Quest, "Congratulations to the entire Leap Start team for initiating this signature campaign to garner support for our athletes. Our athletes work very hard to bring glory to India and we need to support & cheer for them to boost their morale. An initiative like this also helped in spreading awareness of the Indian contingent among the school kids."

Melvin Pereira, Chairman of The King's School in Goa said,” All of us at King's are excited and privileged to be part of this unique initiative by LeapStart. Elated students wrote their hearts out with messages for the Indian contingent wishing them success at Rio2016.”

The signed piece of cloth was also presented to the men’s Indian National Hockey Team just before they left for Rio from Bangalore.

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