Odisha government takes ownership of the fifth franchise of Ultimate Kho-Kho

In what could be a massive boost to Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK), the Odisha government has taken ownership of a team in the soon-to-be-launched professional league.

This will be the second direct sports venture for the Odisha government, which also has a team in hockey, the Kalinga Lancers. India league in 2013.

The announcement comes days after Odisha won silver medals in both boys and girls categories in Kho-Kho during the Khelo India Youth Games 2022.

Orissa Play The team, owned by the Development and Promotion Company (OSDPC), 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 performed well and won silver medals. Since it is a traditional sport, we have a lot of scope to develop it further in the state. That’s why we have decided to participate in the Kho-Kho league. This is part of our Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s vision for sports in Odisha,” said Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera.

In the last decade, the Naveen Patnaik-led government has not only hosted some major sporting events in the country but also developed a world-class multi-sport infrastructure.

OSDPC is collaborating with leading steel maker ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited (AM/NS India) and will work together in Ultimate Kho-Kho.

“Sports Odisha has been one of the major factors in India’s sports revolution. His focused approach to developing a game has been impressive. They have created an environment that has encouraged many corporate investments to create grassroots development and access to future champions. And now their association with Ultimate Kho Kho, is a big sign for the growth of the game,” said Tenzing Niyogi, CEO, Ultimate Kho Kho.

Ultimate Kho Kho had earlier announced four franchises. Corporate giants Adani Group and GMR Group acquired the Gujarat and Telangana franchises, while Capri Global and KLO Sports own the Rajasthan and Chennai teams, respectively.

Ultimate Kho Kho has signed Sony Pictures Networks India as its broadcast partner with an exclusive multi-year contract.

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