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Khel Vikas hosts 5K run in Berhampur

This joy of running, especially in an organised manner and within a competitive setting, is missing in rural India, especially among those that normally cannot afford to attend larger marathons.

Kids’ fly off the start line as the race begins

The Khel Vikas (KV) Run returned after its debut last year and was hosted on Sunday the 14th of September, 2014. The Run started at Tamana village and finished at Gram Vikas’ Campus, Mohuda. Pro Sport Development is hoping to continue this tradition, after this year’s 5K Run turned out to be a tremendous success.

Last year, Pro Sport Development organised a 5K Barefoot Run to raise shoes for the underprivileged children studying at the four Gram Vikas schools across Odisha. Many of the children involved in the race had never owned a pair of shoes before. The barefoot run had fantastic support throughout the event from numerous volunteers and as a result we raised 1,200 shoes from the event.

Like last year, the competition had both male and female participants, divided into two categories — under 14 and over 14. Prizes, certificates and medals were awarded for the top three boys and girls in each category, while other participants in both age groups were awarded certificiates for their participation. Surpassing last year’s total, close to 500 people participated this year, with schools and people from the local community turning up for the event.

The Guests of honour who graced us with their presence were Shri Joe Madiath, the Founder of Gram Vikas, Shri Kameshwar Rao, the Secretary of Athletics Federation of Ganjam District, Shri Akshay Pattnaik, the District Sports Officer and Shri Ram Shankar, ex-Board member of Gram Vikas.

Junior Girls:

1st Place: Jyoti Mallik (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)‎

2ndPlace: Shibani Mallik (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)‎

3rd Place: Sujatha Bhuyan (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)

Junior Boys:

1st Place: Trinath Sabal (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)

2nd Place: Ganesh Mallik (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)

3rd Place: Jitendra Bhuyan (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)

Senior Girls:

1st Place: Sukumari Mandal (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)‎

2nd Place: Ranjuta Mallik (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)‎

3rd Place: Runita Routa (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)‎

Senior Boys:

1st Place: Pradeep Kumar Behera (1st Place) (Sukunda Village)‎

2nd Place: Kedarnath Barik (Lathi Village)‎

3rd Place: Sushant Sabar (Gram Vikas High School, Kankia)

The organisation believes that the KV Run is a perfect way for children to ascertain their flair for running, providing them with an opportunity to excel. The Run aims to generate interest and encourage children to train competitively at various levels. Similarly, the run will also help schools to determine the sporting potential within these children and introduce different sports to their PE curriculum. Khel Vikas already conducts athletic programs for the children at Gram Vikas High School at Kankia and it is hoped that this Run could inspire more children to join the program.

The Director-founder of Pro Sport Development, Mr Suheil Tandon, is honoured to take the run into its second year of existence and continue this tradition, “The Khel Vikas Run is a great opportunity to generate interest in youth for regular participation in sporting activity. It also allows young athletes a chance to display their athletic talent on a bigger platform”.

Marathons and long-distance running events have become a regular feature in the Indian sports event calendar, specifically within large metros cities and higher income groups. But, this joy of running, especially in an organised manner and within a competitive setting, is missing in rural India, especially among those that normally cannot afford to attend larger marathons. Pro Sport Development is breaking these barriers, through its KV Run, and bringing the joy of running to the rural youth of India. It is hoped that the organisation can aid in organising more such running events on a regular basis across the state of Odisha and beyond, and involve the rural youth of India.

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