As an automotive partner of
FIFA, Kia Motors India has created an exciting opportunity for Indian football
players between the ages of 10-14 to experience the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,
as part of the Kia Official Match Ball Carrier (OMBC) programme.
Karnataka’s Rishi Tej (age 10)
and Tamil Nadu’s Nathania John K (age 11) emerged as the lucky winners of the
Kia Official Match Ball Carrier programme, bagging the honour to represent
India at the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia. They will be delivering the
all-important match football to the pitch where soccer legends will play for
the ultimate prize in the sport.
Kia Motors India also
announced that four other youngsters from different parts of the country have
been selected to make the trip to Russia as spectators. All six kids will enjoy
an exclusive Kia sponsored trip to the world’s premier sporting event, along
with one of their parents or a guardian.
Bhanuj Bhalla was from Ryan
International School, Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Priyasharan Prakash (Army Public
School, Noida), Aditya Batra (Shri Ram School in Gurgaon, Haryana) and Scott
Ashley Rodrigues (Don Bosco High School, Mumbai) are the four kids who will
travel to Russia to experience the FIFA World Cup extravaganza.
Nathania John Kandathil,
incidentally, is the only female from India selected for the final OMBC
campaign. A Class VII student at Rishi Valley School in Madanapalle, Andhra
Pradesh, she made the cut by impressing Sunil Chhetri with her footballing
skills. Born in a small town in Kotagiri, in the Nilgiris district of Tamil
Nadu, she is equally fond of athletics and enjoys keeping track of leading
sports stars in various sports.
India captain Sunil Chhetri
conducted the trials in Gurgaon last month and had a tough time zeroing in on
the two kids who would be the country’s first OMBCs. As many as 1600 children
participated in the programme, with 50 shortlisted for the final selections.
Rishi Tej and Nathania John K
will be seen on television sets across the world as one of them steps on to the
field on June 18, ahead of the Belgium vs Panama encounter; the other chosen
kid will walk along with the players with the official match ball in their hand
on June 22, before the explosive clash between Brazil and Costa Rica.
Rishi Tej, a Class 5 student
at Royale Concorde International School in Bangalore, Karnataka, is not only an
avid sports person but also a school topper, emerging first for three
consecutive years. He has taken part in many football tournaments in the city,
and has won a couple of Player of the Match awards.
Under the FIFA OMBC programme,
64 schools kids from different countries, including two from India, will get
this once in a life time opportunity to not only walk alongside some of the
world’s best players but to also watch a World Cup match. These young people
will play a key role in each and every pre-match ceremony
In April 2017, Kia Motors
signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the State Government of Andhra
Pradesh, India, to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur District.
Construction of Kia Motors’ first manufacturing
facility in India is underway. The manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019
and produce approximately 300,000 units per year.
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