Nick India to encourage kids play activity 2 October

MUMBAI: It may be struggling to build up viewer cachet in India but Nickelodeon India will nonetheless participate in a global initiative - Worldwide Play of day.

On 2 October, the channel will encourage kids to get out and play the whole day.

Nickelodeon India is doing a community outreach programme its biggest to date. It has partnered with 400 schools, reaching half a million kids. Sixteen winners per school (6400 kids in total) will win passes to a Worldwide Day of Play event. Through rounds of creative games, children are being encouraged to invent their own games or could even alter existing ones.

On 2 October events will be held from 12 noon to 7 pm in Mumbai at EsselWorld where Nick star Jimmy Neutron will be making an appearance, in Delhi at Appu Ghar; in Kolkata at Nicco Park and in Bangalore at Megabowl.

Apart from the various rides and play areas of these parks, there will be a separate Nick Play Area where Nick will be conducting games and giving away prizes. One of the games that kids will play is French Cricket. Another game is called Hoop The Ball. As the name implies this is a different version of basketball for kids.

The other games that kids will play are Thumb Wrestling, Grass Hurdle Race, and Make Pyramids. Nick is airing Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in order to get the message across to kids.

On 2 October, Nick goes blank across the world from 12 pm to 3 pm. In India, however it will only go blank for an hour from 3-4 pm. At that time instead of the regular programming PSAs will air telling kids to go outdoors and have fun.

Nick India director business and operations Pradeep Hejmadi added, "The Worldwide Day of Play is just Nick's way of kick-starting the habit of play in kids. We hope, though, that it will be celebrated everywhere, everyday and by every kid."

On air through the rest of the afternoon, Nick will reflect the day's activities and fun with updates and video footage from many of the day's global events, as well as capping off with a live television special filled with kid energy, music, star-power and a healthy dose of interactive fun and games.

The Worldwide Day of Play is part of the broadcaster's Lets Just Play campaign. Nickelodeon has identified its Let's Just Play campaign as especially crucial in Asia, where stress, resulting from studies, tuition and the competitive nature of society, is a major part of a kids' life. This is increasingly leading to a generally inactive lifestyle, which could further contribute to a growing trend of obesity amongst kids.

The purpose of the Let's Just Play campaign is to address all these issues in a fun and entertaining way, without being preachy and to help kids learn about active, positive lifestyles in a completely non-competitive atmosphere.

Hejmadi added, "It's not so much about organised sports. Rather, it is about the games played in every gully back-alley of our towns, cities and villages - Gilli Danda, Kho Kho, Hide & Seek. These have become a part of the most enjoyable and enduring images of our own childhood. We want to make sure future generations have similar memories to cherish while receiving the lifelong benefits of a healthy and active childhood."

Besides India; Australia, Singapore, Philippines and of course the US are participating in the Worldwide Day of Play event. Singapore and the Philippines will hold off-air events at local arenas, with designated play areas and booths including fitness and nutrition tips and workshops for adults on how to motivate kids through play.

In the US, one activity will see four teams, made up of Nickelodeon talent, celebrities and athletes compete. Their aim is to create the "Game of the Day" from a set of large-scale set pieces and props provided to them. The games will encourage creativity and will remind kids that anyone can play, anywhere and with anything.

Nickelodeon executive VP public affairs Marva Smalls said, "Worldwide Day of Play is Nickelodeon's effort to elevate the importance of physical, active play as an essential part of kids' lives. In this first-ever day of play, we call attention to the right kids have to play every day. We are thrilled that thousands of individuals and organisations from here and around the globe have joined us in this commitment to kids."

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