Going the extra mile for sports
Actors like Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone go out of their way to support sports. Here's taking a look at stars who patronise sports and other forms of arts
When an actor's name is associated with an event, it's natural to presume that there would be no dearth of sponsors for it.
Video: Finale of Akshay Kumar's karate competition
However, when Akshay Kumar initiated a karate tournament three years ago, perhaps he wasn't too well versed with the corporate companies' attitude towards non-elitist sports.
This year, he realised that some promises were made to be broken. Looking ahead, Khiladi Kumar took it upon himself to expand his tournament on his own. And according to a close friend, "Akshay also told the team that they don't need to go looking for sponsors any more now."
Akshay remained nonchalant about the lack of enthusiasm from the sponsors. Reiterating his "No sponsors, no problem" motto, he maintained, "It's payback time for me. It's my way of giving back to martial arts, which played a very important role in helping me reach where I am today.
God has been kind to me, so I'll be gladly supporting the tournament to widen its reach with every passing year. Seeing participation from fighters from countries like Nepal, Malaysia and even Japan, I'll be further expanding the tournament next year and so on."
In the recent years, stars are coming forward to support causes they believe in, which incidentally has nothing to do with Bollywood, that earns them their bread and butter.
Like Akshay, Deepika Padukone too has taken up the cause of sports. It is learnt that she's been approached to participate in the motivational campaign for next year's Olympics.
The idea of the promotion is to get Deepika to encourage the younger generation to take up sports hugely. And we hear that Deepika has decided to dedicate at least five days in a quarter of a year supporting sports.
Ever since his flair for painting made news, there's no stopping Salman Khan.
The actor will soon be auctioning his artworks for the benefit of his charitable organisation, Being Human Foundation. Apart from art, Salman is also supporting sports like wrestling that don't easily get sponsors. Earlier this year, Sallu was present at a wrestling competition organised by a political party, cheering participants.
Salman Khan's decision to support wrestling could be attributed to an influence from Suniel Shetty who backed a wrestling competition a couple of years ago. Besides, He was also roped in as the brand ambassador of the Hockey World Cup in Delhi earlier this year.
A regular at India's last three games in the ICC World Cup, he has been quoted saying, "Cricket is flourishing but all other sports, be it hockey, football, wrestling or boxing, could do with a celebrity face who can bring in the sponsors and much-needed funds.
I'm ready for it." The actor has driven 14 hours to small remote towns with population of less than a lakh to be the chief guest at wrestling and boxing matches.
Hema Malini supports Bharat Natyam and has made sure that both her daughters learnt the art.
Both Anurag Kashyap and his wife Kalki are staunch supporters of theatre. When not acting on screen, Kalki spends most of her time acting on the stage.