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NDTV, Nirmal bring back fitness initiative for a third edition

MUMBAI: News and lifestyle broadcaster NDTV, in association with Nirmal, has brought back its fitness-focused initiative ‘Marks for Sports’.

The first edition, which went on air in March 2011, targeted schools, looking to incorporate sports in a school’s curriculum. The yearlong campaign culminated in February 2012, with the NDTV-Nirmal Fit India Day. The day, which had the backing of the Ministry of Sports, was devoted to sports and fitness, and comprised over 10 coaching workshops conducted by various sports personalities.

The channel’s aim was to make the initiative more inclusive. NDTV COO special projects and events Aditi Singh informed that in the second year (2012) the initiative did the ‘Fittest City Contest’.

The initiative ran across the six cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, and Kolkata. Each city had a fitness or sporting personality as its city ambassador who spread awareness about fitness and the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. These cities were judged on various parameters such as physical camps, surveys on health habits, government statistics, testing of fitness levels of children across schools, marathons, and so on.

Singh explained that the initiative this time has broadened. “This time around, the initiative has three elements. The first is ‘Marks for Sports’, which will focus on schools across the country. We are looking to further build on the programme in certain states. The second is ‘Right to Play’, which is about creating awareness about the importance of playgrounds and maidans and providing facilities there. The third element is the ‘My Fit 100 Days’ challenge.”

This challenge is a 100 days’ fitness challenge. One can nominate three people to take up a fitness-related activity. It could be anything from giving up alcohol, quitting smoking to hitting the gym and doing push-ups.

For the cause, NDTV and Nirmal have roped in support from personalities like actor Ranbhir Kapoor, who is the campaign ambassador and has supported the cause since its inception, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnis, Union Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonawal, Godrej chairperson Adi Godrej, actor Dia Mirza, and Olympic boxing winner Vijender Singh. Reebok is also supporting the initiative.

The challenge has a gratification element as well. Five winners of the challenge will get an all-expenses-paid trip to New York for the US Open tennis Grand Slam.

Moreover, Nirmal has pledged to contribute Rs 100 per sign-up for the challenge. The money will go towards developing multi-faceted sports facilities across the country.

“Age is no barrier. We expect corporates to nominate employees, people to nominate their friends and relatives,” said Singh.

The network will also air special shows around fitness. “On the weekends, there will be half-hour shows related to fitness across the NDTV network. There will be debates as well as a reality show where participants have to go through challenges,” Singh stated.