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SCORECARD: A session on the pursuit of excellence in sports

At SCORECARD 2015, a panel consisting of international stars like Saina Nehwal, Pankaj Advani, Cedric D’Souza and Vijay Amritraj got together to discuss how sports can evolve into a big market.

01 Sep 2015, 13:02 IST
Vijay Amritraj, Charu Sharma and Pankaj Advani (all pictured) were among the speakers at the event

Sport has forever been a binding force for masses in our country. It brings the rich and diverse class together, catalyzes cultural and societal change, encourages free spirit, instills discipline and teaches people to hold their own, irrespective of whether they win and lose. Promoting sports and inducing the values it embeds, is thus synonymous with national pride, sense of social inclusiveness and employment opportunities.

Here at SCORECARD 2015, an esteemed panel consisting of international stars like Saina Nehwal, Pankaj Advani, Cedric D’Souza and Vijay Amritraj got together to discuss how sports can evolve in to a massive market.

It’s worth mentioning here that the global sports sector is estimated to be worth USD 480-620 billion. In India, however, it is yet to be recognized as a sector and there is no comprehensive study on the industry’s estimated size. Further, the business of sports is yet to pick up steam and the country lacks a formal professional Sporting culture.

Addressing the gathering regarding the same, former world champion Pankaj Advani said, “There is a need to regard sport and games as a profession and not just a leisurely activity. We need to look and learn from China, they have sports as part of their curriculum in schools and colleges; no wonder they are doing as well as they are. We need to do the same.”  

For sports to become a profitable business in India, we need to start asking relevant questions - What is India’s vision for sports? What are the objectives of sports policies? How can we make the business of sports in India relevant, profitable and excellent?

As the aforementioned took centrestage in the intriguing discussion, former player and now-renowned commentator Vijay Amritraj said, “We have the zeal, the urge to excel as a sporting nation and I am not talking only about the players here- there are corporate, the government itself, all of us dream of a brighter sporting future.”

“If only we can coordinate and combine our efforts, I don’t foresee why we can’t soon become a sporting superpower.”

The panelists admitted that there aren’t many sectors that can challenge the reach and acceptability of sports. However, huge challenges abound in executing the plans that have been devised by various entities and it will take a massive effort to overturn the amateur set up we have in place currently.

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