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, 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.