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Virat Kohli tackles fitness issues affecting kids, launches new venture with Stepathlon

News Desk
29th Jun 2016
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Aiming to tackle fitness related issues affecting children, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, on Tuesday, announced the launch of his fitness venture Stepathlon Kids. Through its annual 30 day virtual race, the venture will urge children to take 15,000 steps a day, helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle and increase awareness about health issues.

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli during the launch-of Stepathlon kids
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli during the launch-of Stepathlon kids

Targeting age groups from 8-12 years, Stepathlon Kids is a joint venture between Stepathlon Lifestyle and the cricketer.

According to a study by World Health Organisation (WHO), as many as 22 percent of children in India are either obese or facing health issues. Further, using technology to reach out through a gamified environment, the firm is looking to target up to 50,000 children in the first year of operations.

As a part of the challenge, the children will be given pedometers to track their steps during the 30 day race. These steps when entered on the Stepathlon Kids website would get converted into distance. While the company hasn’t announced the price points yet, it will seek its initial revenues from a combination of sponsorships, partnerships and participation fees.

Co-founder and chief executive of Stepathlon Lifestyle, Ravi Krishnan, said,

“Through Stepathlon Kids, we aim to ingrain health and wellness in them at an early stage, to build a foundation that will last them a lifetime. Virat has been through a personal fitness transformation and we are proud he's chosen Stepathlon Kids to build a healthier nation...we can build on the phenomenal success Stepathlon has had in the corporate space.”

On the other hand cricketer Virat Kohli said

Stepathlon Kids is a first of its kind and much needed offering in our country, and I'm sure Stepathlon will replicate the success it has witnessed in the corporate space. I will be substantially involved in the development and promotion of Stepathlon Kids to achieve our goal to create a healthier nation through the future of India - our kids.

However, this is not the first venture for the Indian Test captain. Last year, Virat invested around Rs 90 crore in Chisel Fitness, a Bengaluru-based fitness centre which recently announced plans to introduce technology-enabled, gamified workout routines and add 100 more centres in the next two years.

He has his own apparel line named Wrogn and has invested in Indian Super League football team FC Goa.Further, Virat has also invested in London based tech startup Sports Convo, and is a co-owner of the Indian Premier Tennis League team, UAE Royals.

In the 2015 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list (released in December), Kohli was ranked seventh (based on entertainment-related earnings and fame) with yearly earnings of Rs 104.78 crore.

The fitness overview

According to data from Tracxn, there are close to 159 companies in the fitness and wellness space in India.

The sector is majorly divided into two types of startups. The first one are aggregators of gyms and fitness centers including names like GymPik, Fitternity, Gymer, Playnlive, Flexipass, Fiticket and BYG. While the other include mobile-based fitness solutions to consumers who are not able to make it to gyms.

This also includes an active segment of healthy diet, with players like HealthifyMe, a calorie intake and fitness tracker; Truweight, which claims to help lose weight with Superfoods; and Fitho, which is a technology-based weight management service.

Further, with technology players disrupting the space, the fitness market is expected to grow rapidly, expecting to touch Rs 250-300 billion in the next five years.

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