Sportstar redesigned and launched as a fortnightly

The original magazine stopped publication in 1968 and was reborn in 1978; went into tabloid form before regaining its original size.

Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Union Sports Minister, sought more positive energy to power Indian sports to greater heights, at the relaunch of the Sportstar magazine as a fortnightly, at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.   -  TWITTER: @Ra_THORe

Olympic silver medallist, the Union Sports Minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, sought more positive energy, even if it means "using the negativity to fuel the positivity’’, to power Indian sports to greater heights, at the relaunch of the Sportstar magazine as a fortnightly, at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

The Sports Minister said that both the Sportspersons and the sports media had the "best quality of life" and that it was "passion for sports’’ that bound them together in the passage of growth.

READ: Sports Code to become more contemporary, says Rathore

In the presence of Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu, her coach and former All England champion Gopi Chand,  former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi - who conceded that he was an avid reader of the magazine - hockey great Zafar Iqbal, and as Rathore said,"a galaxy of sportspersons in the hall’’, the Co-Chairperson of The Hindu group, Malini Parthasarathy, looked back at the history of the magazine and its contribution while presenting its new sleek look, with the "detailed and colourful narration of sport."

Media attention important for youngsters

"I congratulate Sportstar. I was extremely happy to see myself on the first page’’, said Sindhu as she admired the contribution of the Sportstar and The Hindu in pushing Indian sports to a high level.

In pictures: Sportstar relaunch event

Gopi Chand said that it was very important for a young player to be noticed by the media, and recalled calling home after winning the All England title to find whether his photo was published.

Even as the legends of Indian sport recalled the inspiration they felt after seeing their names and photos during their formative years and later when they won laurels on the big sporting stages of the world, Ms Malini Parthasarathy recalled the rich history of the magazine which was first started in September 10, 1947 as Sport and Pastime.

‘’It was extremely popular with excellent action photography and in-depth analysis of international, national and local sports’’, she said.

The original magazine stopped publication in 1968 and was reborn in 1978; went into tabloid form before regaining its original size.

"Today we bring you a refreshed and reinvigorated product, that will retain the highest quality of sports journalism’’, she assured.

"Less combative or confrontational"

Stressing that sports was always the top priority, she reiterated, ‘’The Hindu Group is passionate and deeply committed to the promotion of our country as a sporting nation. It will enable Sportstar to become a platform for bold dreams and ideas to be unveiled for the nurturing of excellence in each sport."

The positivity of Sports Journalism, "less combative or confrontational’’, as compared to political and social journalism was highlighted by the former Editor of the newspaper, to drive home the point that there were "fewer villains in sports journalism and more heroes than other areas of journalism."

The collaboration with various stakeholders has helped the media build "excellence in sport and take India forward as a leading sporting nation’’, she concluded, congratulating the sports stars on the stage, for "breaking the barriers’’ and doing the country proud.

'Focus on the youngsters, their sporting goals'

On his part, Bishan Bedi said that there should be more substance to cricket reporting than the mere statistics of the game. In his typical fashion, Bedi congratulated Sindhu for her memorable wins, despite consistently facing world-class opposition, and said that India captain Virat Kohli would now face top-class opponents starting with South Africa.

Sportstar Editor Ayon Sengupta said that the concerted effort of the magazine would be ‘’to focus on the youngsters, their sporting goals’’ and help the country in ‘’producing more champions."

Giant size prints of iconic covers nicely kept in the arena, helped everyone revive memories, and some of the stars were presented mounted photos of the covers, as a token of appreciation.

Ayon Sengupta and the Hindu sports editor, K.C. Vijayakumar, along with leading cricket correspondent Vijay Lokapally interacted with the sportspersons in attendance, making it a memorable afternoon for everyone.