The world’s fastest man and the south Indian superstar granted “Honorary Membership” of the football club
World record holder and multiple Olympic Gold medal winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt; and South Indian actor, film producer and politician Khushboo Sundar have been granted “Honorary Membership” of the Richmond Tigers Footy Club.
While athlete Usain Bolt had recently visited the Tigers home ground in February 2017, the Indian actor had visited the Punt Road Oval in October 2016 along with line producer Nithya Remesan and Darpan Mittal (AIBC). Khushboo had also agreed to help promote AFL in India on a volunteer basis.
Usain Bolt and Khushboo were welcomed to the Tigers home ground by their key player Alex Rance, and marketing executive Simon Matthews. Usain Bolt would be the Tiger’s “Number One Ticket Holder for Jamaica”, while Khushboo would be the Tiger’s “Number One Ticket Holder for India”.
Khushboo debuted in Bollywood as a child artiste, became a superstar at the age of 15 years, with Hindi super hit film “Meri Jung”. She later moved to South India, and starred in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies. She is also a film producer, and TV presenter. She is fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages.
When informed about being granted the Tiger’s Honorary Membership, Khushboo commented that she had always been a huge fan of sports and was completely amazed at the euphoria for footy when she was in Melbourne September last. “I was overwhelmed at the warmth showered upon me when I had the honour to visit the Tiger’s homeground, as well as meet their coach and players. I look forward to being part of the Richmond Tigers FC,” said Khushboo, who also thanked former Premier Hon Ted Baillieu and former ministerial adviser Nitin Gupta for introducing her to the AFL.
AFL Focus group member and AIBC Executive Rashi Kapoor, and AFL multicultural ambassadors Shilpa Hegde, Tripti Gupta, Preetika Oberoi, Mandy Bose, Kamini Saberwal and others have welcomed Khushboo on board.
AFL is trying to take footy to India, and Richmond Tigers and Essendon Bombers are hoping to have a proper match at an Indian venue around March 2018. The main challenge would be to get enough sponsors, and a sizable Indian television audience for Australian Rules Football, which is like an alien sport to most Indians.
Recently, owing to the involvement of Gupta, the AFL has been introduced to Indian billionaires, politicians and spiritual gurus such as Swami Ramdev (Patanjali Group), Sri Sri Ravishanker (Art of Living), Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon), Dr Dinesh Kapoor (Indian Junior Premier League), Samajwadi politician Pankhuri Pathak, and Congress politicians Naveen Jindal, and Priyanka Chaturvedi.
Apart from Khushboo, the other stars from India recently introduced to AFL include comedian and host Kapil Sharma, Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishen, choreographer John Britto, designer Sonia Gurnani, and others.