KOCHI: The National Sports Day this August 29 could be a lot different from any other Kerala has ever seen. The state would witness a Flash Mob. And the cultural procession, on August 6, for the 62nd Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha would have a special participant - Ammu, the Great Hornbill, the mascot for the 35th National Games.
That would simply be a start, if the National Games Secretariat authorities are to be believed. With the Games less than four months away, Kerala is poised to unleash an extensive publicity campaign for the country’s biggest sporting spectacle slated to be held in seven districts from January 31 to February 14 next year.
Mass runs, skits and a Torch Relay are among the activities planned ahead of the second National Games to be allotted to the state. While the ceremonial Torch Relay in itself would form a publicity vehicle at the national level, the cornerstone of the campaign in the state would be the ‘One Crore Run’.
“The idea behind the event is to organise simultaneous mass runs across the state on a single day involving one crore people, including dignitaries and celebrities,” NGS coordinator R Anilkumar told ‘Express’.
The decisions were taken at the 46th executive committee meeting chaired by Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan a few days ago.
“The executive committee discussed the action plan for the publicity campaign in detail. There will be serious campaigning at the state and national levels. The exact nature of the various events are being worked out and would be ready by mid-August. The stress is on ensuring large-scale participation of the general public in making the National Games a big success,” Anilkumar said.
Meanwhile, the colourful National Games mascot has been visiting schools across the state to drive home the importance of sports, apart from raising awareness on the national event. A group of artists have been performing 30-minute skits in schools as part of the programme, which has covered around 230 schools so far, the NGS coordinator added.
The government has also made it mandatory to carry the logo and mascot of the 35th National Games on all government communications, letter heads, notepads and covers. Diaries and calendars published by various offices too would have imprints of Ammu, the Great Hornbill.