Abraham, a winner of several medals, both on the domestic circuit as well as internationally, ventured into the main agenda of this edition – Giving back to sports. She very articulately explained the need for former sportspersons to occupy important positions in sports organizations, given their knowledge and experience of sports. She also threw light on the reasons why that was not the case in India, suggesting that a majority of Indian sportsmen were ‘created’ from poor or rural backgrounds, who saw sports as an opportunity to land a government job. Therefore, those professionals, given their lack of education and exposure, were hesitant about getting into administration jobs.
Abraham, a member of the Clean Sports India movement, emphasized that most of the bureaucrats and politicians who ran sports bodies generally tended to have a very limited knowledge of sports, and often turned out to be corrupt. She also suggested the need to have a passion for sports to succeed in the industry, but not necessarily be a top level sportsperson to contribute for the development of sports. Abraham urged her listeners to inculcate a sporting culture in India, and making physical exercise a habit.
Earlier, the event was kicked off by Dr. Gautam Mukherjee, who represented 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 their lives.
Mukherjee explained how sports not only kept the body fit, but also imbibed lessons of life like leadership and teamwork. He suggested that the current physical education programs in schools were inadequate to provide opportunities for all kids, and lacked the systematic assessment tools that other subjects had.
Furthermore, he emphasized that assessment of PE teachers should not only be based on how many champions they had produced, but also on how many kids they had been able to involve into sports. A higher involvement in sports would help the country have a fitter and healthier generation.
21-year old Rachan Singh gave a talk about the wide array of cycle services that cycle brand b’Twin provided. 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 the company.
The last talk was given by Manoj Mahala who runs a hockey fan website called thefansofhockey.com. Mahala, a research student, with the help of friends and well-wishers, has developed this website, which not only provides news about Indian hockey events, but also directly covers some of hockey events. He spoke about his website and how the current form of the website has evolved from its initial humble beginnings. Also on display during the presentation was a huge collection of photographs that are also available on The Fans of Hockey.
In between the talks, SportsMeet’s Naveen Ningaiah kept on chipping in with interesting and useful information about the speakers as well as some other happenings. He introduced ‘Run Arun Run’ (http://www.facebook.com/runarunrun), a unique ultra-distance running initiative by 43-year old Arun Bhradwaj, who aims to run from Kargil to Kanyakumari in 60 days, starting from October 1 2012.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.