KL Rahul is amongst a host of cricketers, including Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, who have pledged their support to young Indian skater Nishchay Luthra. The 18-year-old skater is preparing, all on his own, to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Sports apparel company, Adidas, has launched an initiative ‘#FanTheFire’ for raising funds for the talented skater. Earlier in the day, India opener Rohit Sharma had shown his support to Nishchay on Twitter and now his India teammates and U-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand have followed suit. The trio extended their support to the skater by changing their display names on Twitter and urging everyone to help the rising star.
A report from Times of India stated that Luthra was all of eight years old when he taught himself to skate, watching online videos. Nine years later, he is the national iceskating champion with a dream of winning a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But if Luthra does not get funds on time, he may never realise his dream.
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) June 27, 2017
“The Olympic association wants me to participate, but I need infrastructure and funding to train and come up to my opponents’ level,” said Luthra.
Speaking on the innovative campaign, to ET Brand Equity, Sean van Wyk, senior Marketing Director, Adidas India said, “With #FanTheFire, we seek to shine a spotlight on athletes and sports which are not mainstream, and in turn, inspire the next generation to take up such sports. The campaign urges fan’s to support Nishchay and we hope that the encouragement of better-known athletes will help him gain the necessary patronage to reach his aim of winning a medal at the Winter Games in 2018.”
Nishchay, who is 18-year-old now has won 12 medals at National Championship which includes 9 Gold and 3 silver medals. He has bagged a Gold and a Bronze medal at the International level as well. However, due to lack of funds, he had to return from the USA and needs higher financial aid to continue his training and represent India in the coming Winter Olympics.
The shout out from the cricketers has gained a significant response as many followers of these Indian players are now keen to know about the Skater, his achievements and his story. So far Rs. 1.5 lakh have been raised for Nishchay whereas the target total is Rs. 35 lakh by July 19th.
After the launch of this campaign, Adidas has a clear message for the people in India. It aims at spreading the message that even though cricket is a religion here, there are other sports youngsters take part in, for which they need support to train hard. The athletes who are taking part in alternate sports need both financial support and emotional support in the country like India where cricket is the dominating sport.