November edition of SportsMeet had few exceptional speakers which held the audience in Christ University enthralled.
Former India International, Raman Vijayan walked thru his formative years. The highest scorer of I-League (erstwhile NFL) for the 1997-98 season came from the fringes of Tamil Nadu. His village had no football field, yet he had a dream, and finally made it big!
After playing for many years, Raman always had the urge to give back to the game. He noticed that the not many schools were employing physical education teachers in the middle-school yet there are state- and national level tournaments for the juniors.
Noble Football Academy was formed in 2009. Raman held an open camp with support from few sports enthusiasts. 4000 students turned out for trial and 40 got selected for a month-long residential camp. Most of the students came from poor background, with several daily wage workers.
The camp consisted of school providing free education. He urged to enthusiasts to sponsor in kind not just cash – in came various sponsors in the form of football kits, foods, and so on.
Till date 25 boys from different age groups from his academy has participated in the state-level tournaments. Two of his academy boys are now playing for South United FC, a private owned professional football club, where he is serving as a head coach.
Earlier, the session was kick started with a demo session from Bangalore Youth Football League, a football academy imparting football training to the youngsters.
Premdeep Gangadharan, co-founder of Fans on Stands, a sports tourism firm shared his Formula 1 experience and how this sport has a great potential in India. Witness of Formula 1 races for several seasons across the globe, Premdeep highlighted this sport to be a new client entertainment destination for the corporate world.
Premdeep presented a detailed comparison between the two Indian Grand Prix – 2012 and 2011 which was one of the best parts in his session.
Just when you thought that there’s no news about the SportsMeet event for November, here we are – we may bring forward or postpone a week, but definitely try to bring SportsMeet every month to you!
So here’s SportMeet ready with the November event – a monthly meet up for the sports professionals, sports business, and enthusiasts of Indian sports.
What do we have for this month?
We’ve some experts coming to share and deliver on what’s next for Indian Sports by looking beyond cricket.
- Premdeep Gangadharan – co-founder of a sports tourism firm, Fans on Stands Sports Pvt Ltd on his recent experience of mega event F1 Indian Grand Prix
- Raman Vijayan – former Indian international football player and coach on setting up football academy to the lesser known areas
We also have a demo session from Bangalore Youth Football League (BYFL), a football academy imparting football training to the youngsters and Naveen Ningaiah sharing his experience of recently held International Sports Summit – Turf2012.
SportsMeet is a platform where the sports professionals – athletes, coaches, physios, managers, and so on), sports business, sport enthusiastic, and sports management aspirant network, discuss, and collaborate.
Kalyan Ashok, senior editor, former sports-in-charge of The Hindu having three and half a decade of multi-sports journalistic experience was the main attraction of the fifth edition of SportsMeet.
But the October session started in a promising note with Amit Chacko Thomas from Game On Sports Management (Roots Sports) providing a well-researched presentation on Grassroots Football in India! Game On Sports Management is a Sports Management company, specializing on Grassroots football.
Amit’s presentation was aligned with India’s bid to FIFA U-17 World Cup. He touched upon India’s foray to a formal grassroot development and how AFC’s coaching licensing program does not directly address grassroot development.
Also, stressed on a long-term player development program, wherein our national curriculum needs to be planned, which should be based on the philosophy, the style that our national team is following.
Kalyan Ashok started talking about the early days of sports journalism, when not many readers were interested in sports and the readers or audiences heavily relied on newspaper and radio. Currently, Kalyan is running Ash Media Works, an innovative firm offering comprehensive solutions in sports event management.
1982 Delhi Asian Games changed the complexion, the games acted as an eye opener and several openings were created to promote sports in the country, also, coupled up with various other sporting milestones during the early 80’s – Prakash Padukone winning 1981 All England Badminton and India winning 1983 World Cup Cricket. Not to forget that time Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s Sport-friendly policies.
Then the former sports-in-charge of The Hindu moved on about the pros of a Sports journalist career – as the sporting events are planned in advance, sometime years ago, and so one can plan the assignments accordingly.
Kalyan touched on the usage of technology in his profession. Internet has become a boon to the reporters and photographers – reports and pictures are sent over emails in no time! With the advent of technology came internet and website. The news available in a website is live, which also, poised a challenge to the journalists. They’ve moved on with times and became more dynamic, now every news publication has their own online edition which carries live news.
The career path of a journalist is not just restricted to traditional print, Online is one option, also, the need for a Media Manager is now a mandatory norm among many sports discipline. Several senior journalists having passion for sport has now moved on to this role.
Kalyan concluded his presentation by saying how interacting with youngsters in sports has kept him young at heart and sharing life long bond with sportspersons.
Up next was Musab Abid, who left a promising career of Chartered Accounting and followed his passion – sports writing. Musab represented SportsKeeda.com – a website on Sports and largest sports writers’ network.
This month’s session was concluded by an insightful presentation by Sashank Gupta, volunteer, One Thousand Hockey Legs. Sashank talked about endeavors taken by his organization. One Thousand Hockey Legs is an NGO working towards providing opportunity for every child to learn hockey.
SportsMeet has been truly a platform where the sports professionals (athletes, coaches, physios, managers, and so on), sports business, sport enthusiast, and sports management aspirants network, discuss, and collaborate. Sure something that is lacking in this city, in our country.
SportsMeet is ideal for companies who run their business on Sports – developing grass root athletes to providing sport infrastructure to schools or managing athletes, looking for a consortium of sorts where they can network, integrate, interact. Something which is readily not available at their disposal!
Staring June 2012, we’ve successfully organized four events – June 18, July 21, August 18, and September 15. We are organizing our fifth SportsMeet event on Saturday, October 13, from 2.15 pm at Christ University, Hosur road.
For our October event, we’ve kept our focus on Sports Journalism. Kalyan Ashok, Senior Sports Editor (Hindu, Sportstar) will be talking on the Evolution of Sports Journalism.
We have aligned several other organizations and companies
- Game On Sports Management (Roots Sports) – a Sports Management company, specializing on Grassroots football. They’ll give a presentation on Grassroots Football in India
- SportsKeeda.com – a website on Sports and largest sports writers network
- One Thousand Hockey Legs – an NGO working towards providing opportunity for every child to learn hockey
The main event will be followed by networking and snack party.
- Where: Central Block, 3rd Floor, Christ University, Hosur road, Bangalore – 560029
- When: When: Saturday, October 13, 2012, 2.15 pm
- Call: Subhajyoti Banerjee – 9008299122
- Registration Fee: 100/-
The program will start sharp at 2:15 pm!
On behalf of SportsMeet Bangalore
The September edition of SportsMeet witnessed intriguing talks by Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham, representatives from EduSports, b’Twin – Decathlon, and The Fans of Hockey.
Winner of several medals in both national and international level, athlete Reeth Abraham, ventured into the main agenda of this edition – Giving back to sports. She, very articulately explained the need of former sportsperson or people with proper knowledge and experience of sports to occupy important positions in the sports organizations. She went on to explain that due to several reasons, this has not been the case in India. Some of these reasons stem from the fact that majority of Indian sportsmen were ‘created’ from poor or rural background as they saw sports as an opportunity to get a government job and now due to their lack of education and exposure, they hesitate to get into administration jobs.
Reeth is a part of Clean Sports India movement, which aims to create an environment wherein former sportsperson can manage local level clubs, state level associations and national level federations. She emphasized on the fact that most of the bureaucrats and politicians who run sports bodies generally tend to have very limited knowledge of sports and often turns out to be corrupt. Clean Sports India comes as a unique forum where all Indian sportsperson can come together and raise their voice.
Reeth added that one needs to have passion for sports and not necessarily be a top level sportsperson to contribute for the development of sports in our country. She also talked about inculcating a sporting culture in India, making physical exercise a habit; a way to keep us fit.
Earlier, the event was started by Dr. Gautam Mukherjee, from EduSports, a company which aims to provide a more holistic education by involving school students into physical education in a more structured and planned way. The basic mantra of the company is to make sports and Physical Education (PE) accessible to all kids, not necessarily to make them champions in sports, but rather to make them champions in life. He explained how sports not only keeps the body fit, but also imbibes lessons of life like leadership, teamwork, and so on.
The current physical education programs in schools are inadequate to provide opportunities for all kids and lack the systematic assessment tools like in the case of other subjects. The focus is on developing champions and medal winners, which sidelines non-exceptional but interested kids. EduSports’ curriculum makes sure that any kid who is interested in participation can participate. Furthermore, he emphasized that assessment of PE teachers should not only be on how many champions they have produced but also on how many kids have they been able to involve into sports. With more involvement into sports we can hope to have a fitter and healthier generation.
21 year old Rachan Singh gave a very energetic talk about the wide array of cycle services from brand b’Twin and the other range of products available in Decathlon. Given that Bangalore has now become a cycling hub and interest in cycling is growing, he focused his talk mainly on cycling and showed variety of cycles provided by them. The main advantage of Decathlon is that they recommend the products based
on need and purpose, furthermore, one can try and test them first and only then proceed to buy. He also mentioned about the opportunities of working in Decathlon, where passion for sports is the chief criteria, certificates hardly matter.
The last talk was by Manoj Mahala who runs a hockey fan website, thefansofhockey.com. Manoj, a research student, with help of friends and well-wishers has developed this website, which not only provides news of Indian hockey events but also directly covers some of the hockey events. He told about his website and how the current form of the website has evolved from its initial humble beginnings. Also, The Fans of Hockey provides a huge collection of fantastic photographs, some of which he displayed during his presentation.
In between the talks, SportsMeet’s Naveen Ningaiah, kept on chipping in with interesting and useful information about the speakers as well as some of the happenings around. He introduced run Arun run, a unique ultra-distance running initiative by 43 year old Arun Bhradwaj, (http://www.facebook.com/runarunrun) aiming to run from Kargil to Kanyakumari in 60 days, starting from October 1 2012.
SportsMeet also compiled a presentation on job opportunities in sports, aiming to benefit some section of the audience. After the talks, the networking session commenced over tea and snacks.
After making our last SportsMeet an astounding success we’re here with our September this September – Saturday, September 15, Christ University, Bangalore.
We request the pleasure of your company at the September session of SportsMeet – Bangalore, a monthly meet up for the sports professionals, a meeting place for the sports lovers, those who loves to talk about sports, interested to promote and grow Indian sports, and keen take it to the next level.
We have Arjuna awardee and international athlete, Reeth Abraham, as the main speaker. Reeth would share her experience on exploring various ways of giving back to sports. Also, we have lined up several sports entrepreneurs, managers, and passionate folks in this session, which should definitely engage all the sport enthusiasts.
The main event will be followed by networking and snack party.
Sports Meet – Bangalore September Edition
- 2 pm – 2.30 pm: Registration and Networking
- 2.30 pm – 2.45 pm: Demo from EduSports – providing holistic education through sports
- 2:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Giving back to Sports – Reeth Abraham, International Athlete, Arjuna Awardee
- 3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Demo from Decathlon on b’twin brand of cycles – by Rachan Singh
- 3:45 pm – 4 pm: Demo from The Fans of Hockey – by Manoj Mahala
- 4 pm – 4 30: Snacks and Networking
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Venue: Christ University Bangalore
Team SportsMeet – Bangalore
Third edition of SportsMeet was a huge success – most engaging and attended edition so far. The SportsMeet August event of How to kick start your sports venture, attracted a number of entrepreneurs, management students, and sports enthusiasts.
Vishal Gupta used his venture Sports365 as a model to give the audience an insight about How to kick start your sports venture. With a vision of building and fostering the spirit of sports and fitness activities in the country, Sports365aims in making sports viable and sustainable for the masses.
As an e-commerce venture for sports equipments, consumables, and infrastructure, Vishal Gupta started Sports365 along with Tennis maestro Mahesh Bhupathi as Director, and Chandra Sekhar Reddy. However, with time they also went also started offline marketing.
One of their specialties includes ‘consultative selling’ where the products are provided to the consumer after a discussion on their requirements. Sports365 is aiming high with a long term goal of providing a support system for young and unknown talents and roping in some popular sporting figures in the company.
Earlier, the event kickstarted with TENVIC representative Shruti Venkat. TENVIC, co-founded in 2011 by legendary cricketer Anil Kumble, strategist and entrepreneur Diinesh Kumble, and international Table Tennis player Vasanth Bharadwaj, with a vision to develop a sporting ecosystem and culture in India, whereby every Indian is involved in sports.
They have initiated work at multiple levels
- Grassroot – reaching out and training young talents in schools
- Lessons from Sports – using the knowledge gained from sportsmen to train people of other professions
- Sports branding – finding new avenues to reach customers and brand sportsmen) and Sports retail
At the moment they have focused on Cricket, Table Tennis, Chess and Badminton. At grassroot level, they have been able to start programs in various schools, mainly in Southern India and NCR. The programs contents are created by reputed players for each disciplines and kids who have shown promise are given opportunities of intensive training with their coaches to take their talent to the next level.
They have also used the experience of sportsmen in areas like ‘pressure handling’ and conducted training programs for people of different professions. TENVIC harbors in-house coaches, mentors and psychologists for their programs.
The talks moved into the highly interesting and much lesser known area of Barefoot running. Sharath Raju spoke about his venture HighLine, which specializes not only in providing footwear for barefoot running but also training sessions.
Sharath explained, briefly, about the biology and mechanics involved in jogging and running and how the traditional shoes are inadequate to cater a healthy and injury free way of doing so. They also maintain Vivobarefoot training clinic, which trains the consumers on the correct and injury free ways of barefoot running.
This presentation along with Vishal Gupta’s talk also showed how online marketing has really grown successfully in India.
The talks ended with a presentation on Sportz Divas, an initiative by Anuradha. Sportz Divas aims to promote the achievements of Women athletes in India. Anuradha herself is a national-level gymnast and the only Indian woman to participate in Fitness Championships in Las Vegas. Also, she has a sports management degree from Switzerland. And apart from that, interestingly, she is a dentist!
Anuradha made a point about how most sportswomen in India come from a rural and poor background, thus unable to promote themselves. Many women athletes, despite winning medals in national and international competitions are struggling economically. Sportz Divas reaches out such women athletes and tries to formulate ways to promote them and discover their brand value.
The event ended with the networking session, where the participants discussed different matters and collaborations with the speakers over coffee and snacks. Interestingly, some of the participants were from outside of Bangalore. Overall the event was a success and organizers are happy that SportsMeet is catching up fast and more people are showing interest.
After successfully completing the first two events, we’re back again this August – Saturday, August 18, Christ University, Bangalore
Here goes our agenda…
SportsMeet request the pleasure of your company at the August session of SportsMeet – Bangalore, a monthly meet up for the sports professionals, a meeting place for the sports lovers, those who loves to talk about sports, interested to promote and grow Indian sports, and keen take it to the next level.
We have several sports management and entrepreneurs lined up for our event for this month. This should definitely excite the business management students, enthusiast professionals who are keen to make sports as a career, and off-course the sports lovers who are eager to know the other aspects of sports.
The main event will be followed by networking and snack party.
- 15:30 – 16:00: Registration and Networking
- 16:00 – 16:20: Demo from Tenvic Sports – An initiative by Anil Kumble
- 16:20 – 16:50: Kick start your Sports venture – Vishal, co-founder, Sports365.in
- 16:50 – 17:15: Demo from High Line Retail – one-of-a-kind destination for Athletic & Lifestyle upgrades
- 17:15 – 17:30: Demo from Sportz Divas – a sports company supporting sportswomen
- 17:30 – 18:00: Networking
by Rudra Nayan Das
The second SportsMeet turned out to be an engaging, educative, and interactive affair. In the Christ College venue, many athletes, students, sports-related professionals came and the network and the reach of SportsMeet grew even stronger.
Chitra Gangadharan, former Indian Women’s football team Goalkeeper, who has been a captain and has represented in the Asian All Star team in 1977-78 gave an account of how Sports is an important factor women’s development.
She mentioned that apart from the general benefits of fitness, sports help Women gain a sort of confidence, equality, and outer world exposure which is much lacking in large sections of our society. Her talk touched upon various factors from social outlook to government biases.
Chitra’s good humored talk contained many real life anecdotes from her playing and coaching experiences which made it more engaging. Also, she emphasized that not only Government but corporates need to support women athletes if we want see women sports taken up seriously and respectfully.
Earlier, the event started with a demonstration by Abhishek Srinivas of Krossover, a New York based company who specialize in developing tools for sports analytics with emphasis on extracting statistics from match videos.
Abhishek Srinivas explained the various advantages of their initiative and how they are now getting into the Indian sports market – currently they have more than 200 employees.
Two time IRONMAN Dipankar Paul shared his experience of world’s one of the honored Triathlon events (http://ironman.com/). Dipankar’s inspirational achievements awed the audience when he described his exploits of an event which requires 3.4km of swimming, followed by 180 km Biking and ends with 42 km of running. The achievements look even impressive as Dipankar is not a professional athlete and started cycling and swimming few years before, with a proper training only 15 days before the event.
Dipankar emphasized on many myths about athletics prevailing within Indians and how the know-how of such events is lacking among us. Hard to believe, but Dipankar’s adventures have not been covered by media, and in our SportsMeet, he has been talking about his feat for the first time outside his friend’s circle!
Sudhir Menon, the Editor-in-chief, of the new sports magazine, Scoreline, introduced the magazine to the audience, explaining his motivation of starting a sports magazine in India. Influenced by the sports coverage culture of Italy, where magazines and newspapers dedicated only to sports are staple for everyday life, he would one day like to see the same in India too and Scoreline is just a beginning.
The talks finished with a candid and poignant account of the struggle faced by physically challenged sportsmen in India. Vijay Kant Tiwari, a member of Indian cricket team for physically challenged, which toured in Pakistan talked about his experience of touring Pakistan and the lack of support for cricketers like him in the country.
Vijay’s Pakistan tour had been an amazing experience where he had been thoroughly impressed by the warm welcome of the host nation. His experiences back home, however, are far from impressive. Even after his triumphant Pakistan tour, the team had been neglected by large sections of Indian media and the team remains unknown to masses. Vijay ended his talk by saying that at the moment physically challenged cricketers need support rather than sympathy.
After the talks, the participants interacted during the networking sessions which went long, giving a platform for meeting of minds and new proposals and opportunities.
In the country of Cricket and IPL, seldom a sportswoman gets internationally recognized barring a few like PT Usha and Saina Newal. Chance is more bleak in case of poor people’s game football.
Amidst all this, meet our guest for SportsMeet-Bangalore July edition, Chitra Gangadharan, former India Women’s team captain who went on representing the Asian All-Star team, an elite team comprising the best of the Asian women footballers.
Chitra became a footballer by mere accident. She represented Karnataka in the Women’s National Football championship, Lucknow in 1975 and since then she carried on representing country and state for almost another decade.
Chitra if fully committed to football – right from completing a Diploma course from National Institute of Sports, A license and Goalkeeper coaching course from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), as a qualified referee to coaching several youth development teams, state senior Women’s team, and senior Women’s national team.
Her association with SAI, Bangalore has been for many years and currently she also coaches an A Division team.
Come Saturday, July 21, Christ University at the SportsMeet-Bangalore, Chitra Gangadharan will be connecting with us on the significance and ways to encourage women in participating sports in India and how the talented sportswomen loving the game yet failing to sustain it at the highest level.
Ensure you register for this event.