Parmjeet Kumar wins bronze in World Para-Powerlifting C'ships
New Delhi, Nov 28 (Sports news) Parmjeet Kumar on Sunday became the first Indian para-powerlifter to win a medal in World Championships as he claimed a bronze at the ongoing edition in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Kumar, who trains at Sports Authority of India Centre in Gandhinagar, won the bronze in men's 49kg category with an effort of 158kg.
"History created for India in Para @Powerlifting by Paramjit Kumar of Punjab as he wins #bronze at the on-going World Para Powerlifting Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia," Paralympics Committee of India President Deepa Malik tweeted.
"Paramjit's 158KG Lift has created history!" SAI congratulated Kumar for the historic feat.
"Many Congratulations to our NCOE athlete, Shri Parmjeet Kumar (M-49kg) for winning the BRONZE medal IN WORLD PARA POWERLIFTING SR CHAMPIONSHIP 2021 - TBILISI," SAI said in a tweet.
Also Read : Saurav Ghosal wins Malaysian Open squash tournament
News Source : PTI
Saurav Ghosal wins Malaysian Open squash tournament
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 (Sports news) Indian squash player Saurav Ghosal won his first PSA title in three years when he triumphed at the Malaysian Open with a straight set win over top seed Miguel Rodriguez, here.
Second seed and ranked 15th in the world, Ghosal defeated Rodriguez 11-7 11-8 13-11 in 55 minutes to win his 10th PSA title.
The last time he clinched a title on the PSA Tour was in 2018 when he won Kolkata International Open.
"It was a really hard match today and that was expected considering that it's Miguel that I'm up against and he's been in top form this week," Ghosal was quoted as saying by thesquashsite.com.
"I saw what he did against Yow and he played a clinical game so I had to be just as good to compete against him.
"I had a plan in place and I was also responding to everything that he was throwing at me. It’s definitely good to get the win today and special has to go to my coach Malcolm Willstrop who passed away this year," said the 35-year-old.
Also Read : Delhi govt gives Rs 2 crore 'Samman Rashi' to Tokyo Olympic star Ravi Dahiya
News Source : PTI
Junior Squash: Delhi girl Anahat Singh wins double crown at two SRFI accredited tourneys
New Delhi, Nov 16 (Sports news) Delhi school girl Anahat Singh won two successive double crown at Squash and Rackets Federation of India (SRFI)'s 3 Star tournament in Allahabad and Kolkata.
In Allahabad at the Sanjay Gupta Memorial Tournament, 13-year-old Anahat won both women's and girls' U-15 events respectively.
In the age-group category, Anahat beat Unnati Tripathi of Uttarakhand 3-0 while in the women's event, she got better of Sunita Patel of Maharashtra by an identical margin.
In the earlier week, the current India No 1 also won double crown at the Bengal Open in Kolkata.
Anahat defeated Yashi Jain of Rajasthan 3-0 to win the girls' U-15 title. The teenager also beat Rathika Seelan of Tamil Nadu 3-1 to clinch the women's title as well.
Also Read : My aim is to create opportunities and make sports accessible to all - Jay Jhaveri, Founder of Sportsfort
News Source : PTI
'No way I would go to Ashes': Pietersen calls for lifting of COVID restrictions in Australia
Dubai, Sep 27 (Cricket News) Former England captain Kevin Pietersen on Monday said players have had enough of staying in bio-secure bubbles and called for lifting of the "ridiculous quarantine rules" in Australia before the Ashes.
The upcoming Ashes series in Australia has been in the news for a while now with several England players expressing their reservations against the strict COVID-19 protocols that are currently in place Down Under.
"There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter. ZERO chance! Unless, the ridiculous quarantine rules were squashed and my family could travel with zero restrictions.
Players are now done with bubbles! DONE!" Pietersen tweeted.
The five-match Test series is scheduled to begin from December 8 and continue till January 18. But the fate of the tour remains unclear with several senior English players having considered the possibility of boycotting it depending on what type of restrictions they have to live in.
Recently, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had raised the issue of a travel ban on the families of England cricketers for the Ashes with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, on the sidelines of a diplomatic visit to Washington DC.
"I raised it (with Mr Morrison) and he said he was going to do his best for the families," Johnson had told reporters in the American capital.
"He totally got the point that for cricketers it is very tough to ask people to be away from their families over Christmas. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution." With next month's T20 World Cup set to be played under a strict bio-bubble in the United Arab Emirates, England's all-format players could end up staying in a bubble for almost four months if they go ahead with the long tour of Australia.
Australia plans to ease border and quarantine restrictions by the end of this year, after at least 80 per cent of its adult population receive two COVID-19 vaccination shots.
Officials in the COVID-free states of Western Australia and Queensland have however said they may keep their borders shut for longer period, depending on the situation.
Also Read : Moeen Ali to retire from Test cricket: reports
News Source : PTI
PSA Challenger Tour to begin on Sept 4
New Delhi, Sep 2 (Golf news) Forty six players from across the country will be vying for the top honours when the seventh edition of the Professional Squash Association Challenger Tour gets underway in Greater Noida on September 4.
A prize money of USD 12000 for women and USD 6000 for men will be at stake during the PSA tournament, which is part of the HCL Squash Podium Program.
The 'HCL-SRFI Indian Tour - Delhi NCR 2021' is the first event to be held after the COVID-19 forced break and will be held in a bio-secure environment at Shiv Nadar University.
Besides world No.77 Sunayna Kuruvilla and world No.86 Tanvi Khanna, Abhishek Agarwal, ranked 164th, will also be participating at the PSA Tour.
"The PSA tour is one of the strategic programs that is being conceptualized and run jointly to help Indian players improve their game and international ranking," Cyrus Poncha, Secretary-General, Squash Rackets Federation of India said in a release.
Also read: Aditi, Tvesa to lead Indian contingent in Creekhouse Open
"The program has already improved the ranking of many players since its inception. For instance, Tanvi Khanna who was World Rank 98 and Velavan Senthilkumar who was World Rank 185 won the HCL-SRFI Indian Tour in Chennai held in August and are now ranked at 86 and 111 respectively.
"I am hopeful that HCL and SRFI together will continue to help promising players emerge as the next stars of Indian Squash." The HCL Squash Podium Program was launched in 2019 and the first PSA tournament under this program was also held in Delhi NCR in August 2019. Since then, PSA Tours have been hosted across Chennai, Mumbai and Jaipur.
News source: PTI
Velavan Senthil Kumar, Tanvi Khanna reign supreme
Chennai, Aug 26 (Sports news) Velavan Senthilkumar and Tanvi Khanna emerged champions in the men's and women's singles in the 2nd HCL SRFI Indian Tour squash tournament, a PSA Challenger Tour-10 event, here on Thursday.
While the fifth-seeded Senthilkumar made short work of Abhishek Pradhan, second-seeded Tanvi outlasted No.1 seed Sunayna Kuruvilla in a five-game thriller.
The Tanvi-Sunayna match was expected to be a closely fought one with both having won one match a piece in PSA events.
Tanvi drew first blood, winning the opening game 11-5 but the top-seed bounced back quickly to take the next two games. The top-seed moved Tanvi to all corners with her effective backhand volleys and boasts to gain the advantage.
Also read: Squash challenger: Velavan Senthilkumar, Abhishek Pradhan in final
However, Tanvi clawed her way back in the 4th game and took the lead in the 5th. With aggressive drives and boasts, Sunanya took charge of the match leading 10-8.
Showing a lot of determination, Tanvi saved three match points to win the game 15-13 and the match in 44 minutes for her maiden PSA Tour title.
In the men's final, Velavan, five years Abhishek's junior, was in control from the beginning and underlined his superiority with a straight games win in just 25 minutes.
Results: Finals: Women's: Tanvi Khanna (2) beat Sunayna Kuruvilla (1) 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13.
Men's: Velavan Senthilkumar (5) beat Abhishek Pradhan (6) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5.
News source: PTI
Squash challenger: Velavan Senthilkumar, Abhishek Pradhan in final
Chennai, Aug 25 (Sports news): Fifth-seeded Velavan Senthilkumar set up a final clash against No.6 seed Abhishek Pradhan in the men's event of the final of the HCL SRFI Indian Tour PSA Challenger squash tournament at the ISA courts here on Wednesday.
Senthilkumar, a former Asian junior champion, continued his good form to score over fourth-seeded Abhishek Agarwal 11-8, 14-12, 11-5 in 37 minutes.
He had on Tuesday, ousted No.2 seed Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu.
Also read: Pradhan, Senthilkumar pull off upset wins, Akshaya Sri continues good run
Meanwhile. Pradhan eased past Rahul Baitha (No.7 seed) in straight games to reach the summit clash.
In the women's section, the top two seeds -Sunanya Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna - will vie for the title on Thursday.
They outplayed their opponents Akshaya Sri and Aparajitha Balamurukan, respectively, in straight games in the semifinals.
Results: Semifinals: Women: Sunayna Kuruvilla (X1) beat Akshaya Sri 11-5, 11-9, 11-1; Tanvi Khanna (X2) beat Aparajitha Balamurukan (X4) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.
Men: Velavan Senthilkumar (X5) beat Abhishek Agarwal (X4) 11-8, 14-12, 11-5; Abhishek Pradhan (X6) beat Rahul Baitha (X7) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9.
News source: PTI
Pradhan, Senthilkumar pull off upset wins, Akshaya Sri continues good run
Chennai, Aug 24 (Squash news): Abhishek Pradhan and Velavan Senthilkumar sent the top two seeds in the men's section packing on a day of upsets at the HCL SRFI Indian Tour PSA Challenger domestic event at the Indian Squash Academy here on Tuesday.
While Pradhan ousted No.1 seed Abhay Singh in straight games in the men's quarterfinals, Senthilkumar advanced as the second-seed Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu retired during the first game. Also, seventh-seed Rahul Baitha got the better of third-seed Aadit Zaveri.
In the women's event, giant-killer Akshaya Sri, who toppled a few seeds on Monday, beat 3rd-seeded Sachika Balvani to confirm her semi-final berth with a straight-game win.
Akshaya will play top-seeded Sunanya Kuruvilla, who defeated Urwashi Joshi in four games, in the semifinals.
Also read: Indian Tour Squash tournament: Yuvraj Wadhwani pulls off upset win over Ravi Dixit
The other semi-final will be between No.2 seed Tanvi Khanna and 4th-seeded Aparajitha Balamurukan, who defeated Janet Vidhi and Abhisheka Shanon respectively in straight games.
Sixth-seeded Pradhan got past Abhay Singh in straight games with the top-seed appearing to be off-colour and failing to put up a fight. He now plays 7th seeded Rahul Baitha, who got the better of 3rd seeded Aadit Zaveri, in the semis.
In the other half of the draw, 4th-seeded Abhishek Agarwal comfortably defeated Kanhav Nanavati and comes up against 5th-seeded Senthilkumar, who only had to play 13 points before Sandhu quit due to a groin strain.
Results: Women's (Quarterfinals): Sunayna Kuruvilla (X1) beat Urwashi Joshi (X5) 17-15, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5; Akshaya Sri beat Sachika Balvani (X3) 11-9, 11-8, 11-2; Aparajitha Balamurukan (X4) beat Abhisheka Shannon (X8) 13-11, 11-7, 11-7; Tanvi Khanna (X2) beat Janet Vidhi (X7) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6.
Men's (Quarterfinals): Velavan Senthilkumar (X5) beat Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (X2) 9-4 retired; Abhishek Agarwal (X4) beat Kanhav Nanavati 11-7, 11-5, 11-5; Rahul Baitha (X7) beat Aadit Zaveri (X3) 11-7, 11-6, 11-1; Abhishek Pradhan (X6) beat Abhay Singh (X1) 11-8, 11-6, 11-6.
News source: PTI
Indian Tour Squash tournament: Yuvraj Wadhwani pulls off upset win over Ravi Dixit
Chennai, Aug 23 (Squash news): Yuvraj Wadhwani caused an upset in the opening round of the men's event in the HCL-SRFI Indian Tour Chennai leg squash tournament here on Monday, beating the experienced Ravi Dixit (seeded 9/16)in four games.
The 15-year old Wadhwani, playing his maiden PSA event, got the better of his experienced opponent, who was nursing an ankle injury and was unable to keep the pace and went down in four games.
In the women's section, Indian Squash Academy trainee S Akshaya Sri defeated higher-ranked Radhika Rathore in a close match while Navya Gupta created an upset, beating Tiana Parasrampuria in five games.
The tournament is being conducted with a 24-player draw in both the men's and women's sections and features players from across the country.
According to SRFI secretary-general Cyrus Poncha, keeping in mind players' safety, the tournament is being held in a complete bio-bubble environment by strictly following Covid-19 protocols.
Also read: I hope to win the National title and raise my international rankings - Racketlon star Siddhartha Nandal
"We are delighted to have squash activities in India once again. Domestic PSA events are an opportunity for Indian players to make their mark and, for a few, make their debut at PSA events," he added.
There are plans to conduct more events, with the next one scheduled to be held at SNU, Noida, from 4-7 September, he said. Results: Women: Round 1: Shameena Riaz beat Saniya Jaggi 11-8, 7-2 retired; Akshaya Sri beat Radhika Rathore 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 ; Aaradhana Kasturiraj beat Ananya Narayanan 11-9, 11-1, 11-3; Navya Gupta bt Tiana Parasrampuria 13-11, 4-11, 0-11, 13-11, 11-6; Anjali Semwal beat Skandha Dogra (11-8, 11-5, 11-9; Sunita Patel beat Aishwaria Payyan 11-0, 11-6, 11-8; Pooja Arthi R beat Mithali Surana 11-8, 11-8, 11-5.
Men: Round 1: Jaideep Sethi beat Ritshi Dunga 11-7, 11-7, 11-2; Tarun Mammen beat Raju Shingava 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-1; Kanhav Nanavati beat Ranvijay Singh 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6; Jamal Sakib beat Naresh Shingva 11-3, 11-5, 11-2; Yuvraj Wadhwani beat Ravi Dixit 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2; Suraj Chand beat R Sreekarthikeyan 1-4, 11-7, 11-2; Mohit Bhatt beat Sumar Singh Ahluwalia 11-4, 11-6, 11-0; Navaneeth Prabhu beat Vaibhav Chauhan 11-5, 11-4, 11-3.
News source: PTI
Shuttler P V Sindhu will be among favourites to win gold medal at Tokyo: Coach Gopichand
New Delhi, Jul 21 (Olympics news) Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand expects Indian athletes to claim an unparalleled double digit medal haul at the Olympics and has declared world champion P V Sindhu as one of the favourites to win a gold.
India will be fielding its biggest-ever Olympic contingent -- more than 120 athletes -- at the Tokyo Olympics which begins on Friday.
"I do believe that this time around, we would have, hopefully, India's biggest medal tally till now. We could surpass what the Indian team did in London which is six medals and hopefully get to double digit is what I am hoping for," Gopichand said.
"Because there has been a lot of support and help from the government and I just wish that with that kind of a support, which we have got, I think getting more medals strengthens the hands of the people related to sports.
"I do believe that whether it is shooting, wrestling, boxing or Mirabai Chanu in weightlifting, I think they have a lot of chances," he said during a webinar announcing the collaboration of Heartfulness Institute and Dhyana, the official meditation partner of Indian Olympic contingent.
Gopichand, who had guided Saina Nehwal and Sindhu to a bronze and silver respectively in the last two Olympics, believes Indian badminton players have a good opportunity to better their performance.
"In badminton, we have chances, definitely to better what we did in Rio and London. So I am hoping that Sindhu can pull off, she is definitely going to be one of the favourites in the Olympics with the venue as well," he said.
Also read: P V Sindhu aiming for a historic second successive medal, others target breakthrough
"And also Chirag and Satwik, although, have a tough draw but I do see them as potential hopefuls for a medal. For Sai Praneeth, it is going to be tough. But he has done well at the World Championships and I hope he can repeat that performance.
Gopichand, who developed the Dhyana ring along with biomedical technology entrepreneur Bhairav Shankar, said it is going to be a stressful Olympics with all the necessary restrictions and protocols in place.
"This Olympics will be very different than whatever we had in the past. Typically Olympics is like a celebration, like a party festival there, where there are lot of young people from across the world ... at every round and corner you will find a superstar from another sports, from different countries," Gopichand said.
"Normally it is a very vibrant environment but this time around it will be almost like do-your-work-and-move kind of a place because after you lose, you have to leave the country within 48 hours, that's the kind of norms they have.
"So this is going to be stressful. Every morning, you get up, you wear your mask, get yourself tested for temperature, so it is going to be tough.
"So the amount of time they are able to relax, able to focus on breathing, able to be alone and have things which are productive to do rather than just stress over things which they can't control will be an important thing.
The webinar was also attended by MSys Technologies CEO Sanjay Sehgal, who is a trustee of Heartfulness Education Trust, Squash player Tanvi Khanna, MD of Avantari Technologies Bhairav Shankar and actress Tanya Maniktala.
Dhyana is a meditation-tracking startup backed by Gopichand.
The IOA had acquired smart Dhyana rings and Dhyana's health management services for the Indian Olympic contingent.
News source: PTI
I hope to win the National title and raise my international rankings - Racketlon star Siddhartha Nandal
Racketlon may have made its presence known in India just a few years ago, but Indians have repeatedly shown their calibre to not just adapt to this unique sporting format but also excel at four different sports against the best in the world. For those who don’t know what racketlon is, it’s a combination sport where competitors play four different racket sports, table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis one after another. Each sport is played for a total of 21 points and the participant with the most points is adjudged the winner.
One such racketlon player from Delhi, Mr. Siddhartha Nandal is one of the top 100 players in the world. This talented racketlon player from Delhi comes from a sporting family and has won a number of accolades in both India and abroad. In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Siddhartha Nandal speaks about being introduced to racketlon, his strengths and weaknesses, special achievements, mental strength, future goals and more!
Q 1) As someone who comes from a sporting background, how were you first introduced to Racketlon and what motivated you to take up the sport professionally?
I came to know about this wonderful sport from a news article when I was already playing Badminton and TT at national level for the Income Tax Department. Then I met Ashutosh Sir and Cheema Sir who guided and mentored me to pursue it further. I had been a national level player in badminton and state level player in Table Tennis in my school days. Since then, I had always dreamt of wearing the Tricolour on my chest. Playing for the nation has been my greatest motivation for pursuing Racketlon professionally.
Q 2) Out of the four racket sports, table tennis, squash, badminton and tennis, which ones do you consider as your strengths and weaknesses?
Badminton and Tennis are my strengths and I only started training for Squash and Tennis after I decided to pursue Racketlon professionally and I believe I hope to improve in both of them (TT and Squash).
Q 3) How much of an influence has Mr. Om Prakashji Dahiya who is also a Dronacharya winner in wrestling has been encouraging you to become a sports person yourself?
My father- in - law is an inspiration for thousands of national and international players including me. We both share a special "sporting bond " and he would often challenge me for a game of volleyball or basketball when I visit him. He has been producing hundreds of national and international champions from his school campus, Pratap Sports School, Kharkhoda which is located in Sonipat, Haryana. The training environment and methodologies adopted by him at the school campus always motivated me to live a disciplined lifestyle, follow a strict diet and to build this wonderful sporting career.
Also read: Ashutosh Pednekar is an Indian navy captain with a prodigious talent for racket sports
Q 4) You are one of only two players who has achieved the feat of Top 100 Men Singles players in World Ranking, which Racketlon achievement is the most special for you and why?
Winning Gold for India and hearing that national anthem at the award ceremony of the Challenger Cup in Germany at the 17th World Championship has been the best moment so far. Also winning 3 Golds and 2 silvers in one week's time at the Thailand Open 2020 and Indian Open 2020 has given me immense confidence and self belief .
Q 5) How important of a role does mental strength play in succeeding in racketlon and why?
Mental strength and perseverance and the will power to give 100% for every single point is the key to succeed in Racketlon. You may not be able to dominate your opponent in all 4 games but you must try to score as many points as possible, even in your weakest game in order to win the match eventually.
Q 6) What are your future goals and aspirations in Racketlon? How do you plan to achieve them?
Nowadays I am training for the 18th World Championship for singles and Doubles which are to be held in Zurich and Prague in late October. I may get deputed to Mumbai in my department anytime soon now, so I am planning to train under the mentorship of Cheema Sir, Aashutosh Sir, Kotak Sir and Moonmoon Ma'am in Mumbai for few months and then train with my doubles partner Adarsh in Germany for some weeks before the tournament. I aspire to win the National title in the next nationals and to raise my world ranking by winning as many international tournaments as possible.
Our objective is to increase participation and raise awareness about Racketlon - FIR President Duncan Stahl
Sports, by its very nature when played at a professional level is extremely demanding to the body and the mind. It’s the ultimate test of human limits, a measure of how far the boundaries can be pushed to achieve a favourable result. Athletes spend decades to perfect their craft of mastering a sport, but what if winning at one sport was not enough? What if you were required to excel at FOUR different sports one after another?
Racketlon is a unique format where a participant plays against an opponent at table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis one after another (in that order) where each sport is played for 21 points. The winner of a Racketlon match is the participant that scores the maximum points across all four games. Easier said than done right?
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Duncan Stahl, President of Federation of International Racketlon speaks about being introduced to this unique format, his strengths and weaknesses, objectives and vision for Racketlon, overcoming challenges, it’s potential in India and future goals.
Q 1) When were you first introduced to Racketlon? What drew you into this unique sporting format and did you always have an affinity towards racket sports?
I first got introduced to it in 2009. There was a teammate of mine in the squash team when I was playing in London. He had heard about a tournament in London and we decided to go along and play in it. As far as what drew me towards it, I played a lot of tennis since I was a child and also played a little squash so I played two of the four sports and I always enjoyed playing different sports, so the fact there were four different sports attracted me even though when I went for my first tournament, I had not played competitive table tennis or badminton. It's still the idea of playing different sports that attracted me and that's what first got me into it and it's quite addictive, where, in order to improve you have to play and practise the sports you haven't played so much. I've played lots and lots of tennis and squash, what was most motivating was when I started playing new sports like badminton and table tennis was how quickly I improved in those sports. With every hour of training, I knew I was getting better and more familiar with the sports and that motivates you because you can see how quickly you have improved. One of the main motivating factors behind Racketlon is when you play tournaments against other players, you quickly get motivated to make your weaker sports better, which is usually the reason you often get beaten heavily against good players at Racketlon tournaments. That was the major motivating factor behind how I started.
Q 2) As 3x British Racketlon champion, which achievement stands out as your most memorable and why? Out of the four sports, which ones would you consider as your strengths and weaknesses?
On the national front in the United Kingdom, winning three British titles are my most memorable achievements. On an international level, winning the World Cup team for the Elite Teams with Great Britain in 2019. I think I played for the Great Britain or England team for almost 10 years, every World Championship, from 2010 onwards. We slowly as a team got better and better over the years and then in 2018, we lost a very close final against Austria. Next year, we came back to Germany in 2019 and managed to win the first title when Great Britain won the World Cup so that was definitely a stand out moment at international level for sure. I have played squash for the longest amongst the other sports so I would say I'm probably most consistent at squash but I've trained myself at other sports for long enough now and I feel like I can get to a good level at all four of the other sports but maybe less consistent in the ones I played least of. I would say I'm able to play all sports at a good level across all four sports probably to a similar level but I'll be more inconsistent at some of the other sports.
Q 3) As President of International Racketlon, tell us more about your vision and objectives for Racketlon? How do you plan to achieve them?
I'd say that as far as what the objective is concerned, I think it's really all based around increasing participation in the sport, to get more people to play in the sport to get more people aware of what Racketlon is, that essentially is the ultimate goal. When all this is achieved, greater and official recognition of this sport at international level will come naturally. As far as what that growth looks like, I think I've always wanted to increase the world tour which the FIR promotes every year, so we try to bring in two brand new tournaments every year in a new city or venue or ideally in a new country and we keep that growing. We currently have about 37 national member countries. We have set ourselves a target to try and bring two new member countries into the FIR every year and I would like to try and keep doing that every year until we get to more countries and with more countries, we have more tournaments and with that we have greater possibility to increase participation.
As far as grassroots and building up participation is concerned, I think the junior program which we have launched this year is going to play a very important role. We will try to bring Racketlon into schools, clubs and use it in different formats of the sport to make it more accessible to the juniors. That will play a very important role and the use of social media has been a key part of what we have been doing for the last few years just to increase the awareness of Racketlon, particularly with the existing racket sports communities within badminton, table tennis and squash communities, so that the players within those four sports get to know about the Racketlon. One way we are trying to break into those communities is through an ambassador program where we are approaching well known figures within those four sports, whether they are current professionals or former professionals who have got high profile in those sports, for them to become ambassadors of racketlon to promote the game.
Q 4) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as President of International Racketlon? How did you overcome them?
We have about 37 member countries. I’d say the challenge is that all the different countries are in different stages of development. Some are very well established and have been going on for a number of years and have a very good structure. They have national tours and things like that. Some are very new or underdeveloped, sometimes because they have a lack of venues and sometimes because they are quite new to Racketion. With all the countries operating at different stages, they all have separate needs. The more developed countries want to put up big events and tours with a lot of media coverage. Meanwhile, countries that are new and just starting to establish themselves have very different needs from us as an international federation. Having to deal with those different countries in different ways has been a challenge. I’ve been able to offer some good support anyway but it’s something I want to increase over the years and look into how we can go about supporting our member countries and their different needs whether that is helping them from an early stage or supporting them once they have become part of the world tour. I do think we are getting better and better at that.
Obviously, another thing that has been a big challenge in the last two years is the Covid pandemic. That has created huge problems across the world in all kinds of spots. The main problem on the local level is that people at the household stage have not been able to train or keep playing their sport. On a more general level, it has basically wiped out all our world tours in the last 18 months, which is the main centerpiece of the sport as an international federation. Trying to keep people motivated and trying to keep them together and engaged and interested in Racketion whilst not being able to host any tournaments has been a big challenge. That is something we've worked at very hard. Particularly, using social media to keep the community together. I think we've done quite a good job and we are hoping now that if tournaments are beginning to restart in the last quarter of this year, then we will hopefully see the existing community come back to tournaments. Hopefully some of the work we have done to grow the sport while there haven't been any tournaments should help us find new players as well.
Q 5) Do you believe India has the potential to become a major force in Racketlon? If yes, what needs to be done to work towards it?
The short answer to that is yes absolutely. There is huge potential in India for Rocketlion for a number of different reasons. I think the four sports of Racketion in different ways all have some sort of history in India. In some countries certain sports are very underdeveloped, but in India all four sports have got a good structure already existing there. The number of clubs that offer facilities for all four sports in Indias as already there.
On a trip I took to India last year I was amazed by how many clubs there are in Mumbai alone, which provide excellent facilities for all four sports. I think all the sports are well established and the clubs are all well established and of course the size of India is equivalent to that of the whole of Europe in a way.
I think there is no reason why the Racketion center in India would not grow to be as big as it is here in Europe, if we were to grow the talent at a regional level in every state. I would say that it will take a lot of time and the national body in India has done a very good job already. They have established a good set of good new players who are all performing very well. I think what will help their development in particular is to continue to expose them to world level tournaments, and so having their players travel to Europe to participate in the tournament would be important but we also want to try to establish at least two world tour tournaments in India every year and for European players to come and play in India.
This would not only allow India to play against the world’s best players but it will also allow them to get world ranking points, which would push their ranking up. That would motivate them to be better. I think the infrastructure is already there in some sense and once the Covid restrictions have eased in India, I think there is every potential for the sport to grow very quickly.
Q 6) As FIR President, what are your future goals and aspirations? How do you plan to achieve them?
On a short to mid-term level we want to continue expanding the world tour to at least 2 tournaments a year. We want to bring in 2 new member countries every year and to keep growing Racketion into different areas. I'd like to try and get to a point where within a few years we have 25-30% of the world tour taking place outside of Europe.
We want to develop things we've already started in North America and Asia to take world tours outside of Europe so players in those areas can feel part of the world wide scene and get world ranking points in their local areas. I think that that is very important. The junior programme is very important that we have already started and we've already got some ambitious plans to bring Racketion into schools and clubs for kids and students at a much younger age that are just starting to learn the sports and connect it to our junior programme coming into the post-covid world.
There is a role for Racketion as far as the health and wellness of people is concerned. Health is becoming increasingly important to people and more of a priority to them. Racketon as a multisport, both for kids and adults can definitely play a role in people’s mental and physical health by keeping sport interesting. Four different sports keep people motivated and interested. Our world wide community is very strong and I think racketion has a very interesting role in that area. It is really all about increased participation, getting more people to play, getting more people aware of Racketion and of course the ultimate goal is official recognition, which will come soon after that.
Ashutosh Pednekar is an Indian navy captain with a prodigious talent for racket sports
Representing your country is a dream for many but achieved by a few. For some, the road to this ambition is through sports, for others it’s through the armed forces and for Ashutosh Pednekar, a navy captain from India, it’s a combination of both. Excelling in one sport is difficult enough, Ashutosh Pednekar’s talent with racquet sports has earned him global recognition through sports news because of Racketlon.
If you’re wondering what Racketlon is, it’s a unique format where four sports: Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash and Tennis are played one after another with each game played for a total of 21 points. The player who scores the most points across the four sports is then judged the winner of a Racketlon match. Sounds difficult? We think so too..
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Ashutosh Pednekar speaks about being introduced to Racketlon, his accomplishments, the level of competition, coping up with the demands of four sports and his goals for the future! Read on..
Q 1) When were you first introduced to Racketlon and what drew you into this unique sporting format?
I have been playing the individual racquet sports of Badminton, Squash and Lawn tennis competitively at the National level for several years since my late thirties. However, my fascination with the sport of Racketlon started pretty late in my sporting career after I had completed the age of 45. At one of the National Squash Championship where I lost in the semifinal in Masters 45 plus category, I happened to meet a renowned squash coach and dear friend Abhinav Sinha who mentioned that there are these two Racketlon tournaments coming up in Denmark and Belgium where because of my strong badminton and squash I would definitely have a chance to win. I read about the sport on the internet, understood its intriguing format and instantly got attracted to it. I gauged that yes, I should definitely try my hand at the sport as I stood a fighting chance of winning the first ever International Gold medals in any sport for myself and in Racketlon for the country as well as no Indian had ever won an International Racketlon Championship.
Q 2) How was the experience of winning the +45 Men’s Singles World Championship in 2018?
I won the World Championship title in the 2018 World Racketlon Championship held at Zurich Switzerland, which was the first ever World title for me. I also felt very honored to be the First Indian to be able to achieve this feat. The feeling of hearing the National Anthem while receiving the medal during the ceremony cannot be described in words and only those who have been there and done that know the profound emotions that bring tears into the eyes.
Q 3) What is the level of competition at the international racketlon tournaments?
As is the case with any other sport, the level of competition and intensity of game at the World level is extremely high. Every participant has put in years of hard work to reach that level of skills/physical fitness and is fighting it out for winning each point in this fascinating format which is especially unforgiving for those who lose focus even for brief spells.
Also read: I hope to win the National title and raise my international rankings - Racketlon star Siddhartha Nandal
Q4) Out of the four sports in racketlon - table tennis, squash, badminton and tennis, which ones are your strengths and weaknesses? What is your strategy going into matches?
You can say that as far as my sporting career is concerned I have been born and brought up in Badminton. My Racketlon is basically evolved on the bedrock of Badminton. I joined the Indian Navy as an Officer in my twenties and found that in the Armed forces, more importance is given to Squash and Lawn tennis. Therefore, in order to get a good level of players to play with and participate in the Inter Services competitions, I had to learn squash and lawn tennis. Being a strong Badminton player, these games were very natural to step into and within a few years I found myself winning at both these at Services level. Presently, in both Squash and Badminton in Masters 40 / 45 plus category at the National level, I have been winning Gold / Silver / Bronze medals consistently since the last 8 years.
Thus, at the International Racketlon level I would say I am of the highest level in my category in these 3 sports with my weakest sport being Table tennis. However, with proper dedicated coaching initially under Mr J Mohite, coach at Hindu Gymkhana and later fine tuned under guidance of International medals winner and level 3 certified TT coach Ms Moonmoon Mukherjee at the Catholic Gymkhana, my Table tennis has improved considerably now.
Q 5) How physically and mentally demanding is the racketlon format? How do you cope up with the demands of the game?
The sport of Racketlon is very challenging both physically and mentally for the very reason that the player needs to play 21 points each of all 4 sports of Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash and Lawn Tennis back to back against his opponent to decide who is winner. Thus, to sustain the demands of four sports on the body, one needs to be at a very high level of physical fitness with equal strength in endurance and muscle power. Furthermore, one has to be mentally strong as in this format, each and every point counts towards winning. One cannot afford to lose focus and play casually even for a single point as it would come back and hurt you at the end very badly. My strategy in matches is to maximize in my strong events and try not to give any free points in my strong sports as it is very easy to lose focus and give away an odd point when you know you are going to win easily. The weaker sports strategy is to go all out for winners as playing safe is neither going to win you points nor is it helping your cause stamina / endurance wise as you will be running more than your stronger opponent.
Q 6) What would you like to achieve in Racketlon in the future? How do you plan to accomplish it?
Presently, at the World Championship I have won the Gold medal in 45 plus in 2018 and a Silver in 2019 World Championships. My immediate goal here would be to win the 50 plus individual World title.
I have also captained the Indian team in the open category which won a Gold medal in team Championship at 3rd Division level. Now that we are promoted to a higher level of competition, that is 2nd Division, I would love to groom our India team players to reach the level of expertise so that Indian team can win this World Championship Cup too.
Because of my achievement in the Masters category at World level, very few people know that at the National level I have remained unbeaten not only at Masters level but also in the open category comprising players from all age groups. I would like to repeat the feat of being the Indian National Champion in Open category even after crossing age of 50. Towards this, I aim to keep myself injury free, physically fit and focused in practice sessions for the next one year. Being an officer of the rank of Captain in the Indian Navy and presently heading a unit at Goa, it may not be possible to travel as much for competitions.
However, I would still definitely help the Indian Racketlon Association headed by Mr KK Cheema and guided and mentored by Shri Krishna Kotak to popularise the sport in India and share my experience towards grooming of the Indian team for next World Championship.
Our vision is to participate in the World Championships and grow the format in India - Kaushal Kumar Cheema, President of Racketlon
For elite athletes, it’s a dedication of a lifetime to perfect their craft. Reaching the highest level at one sport takes years of hard work, sacrifice and a passion for the game to be featured in the sports news, but how would it be if the expectation was to not just excel at one but FOUR different sports?
For some of India’s Racketlon players such as Mr. Krishna Kotak, Founder and Promoter of Racketlon India, it was a natural achievement. The Chairman of J.M Baxi & Co. finished 14th in Zurich alongside Mr. Ashutosh Pednekar, who won the + 45 men’s singles World Championship in 2018.
In 2019, Indian Racketlon players participated in Leipzig, Germany with a 16 member team, where the country won the Challenge Cup team championship in their first attempt. Mr. Abhinav Kashyap from Bangalore won a gold medal in the singles category, Mr. Varinder Singh won the bronze and Mr. Ashutosh Pednekar won a silver at one of the singles category.
If you’re still wondering what Racketlon is, we’re here to help you out! It’s a format where you play your opponent at table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis (in that exact order). Each sport gives a total of 21 points, with the player who gets maximum points winning the match. Let’s learn more about this intriguing format with Mr. Kaushal Kumar Cheema, President of Racketlon who tells us about the reception it has received in India, the unique format, overcoming challenges, potential in India and future plans!
Q 1) Racketlon is a unique sports initiative that combines four different sports such as Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash and Tennis. What sort of reception has it received so far in India?
We have received an excellent response from the players and people of our country. Racketlon India Sports Association was formed in 2017 in affiliation with the global body known as Federal International de Racketlon based in Switzerland. We are officially recognized and accepted by them and follow all the rules and regulations set by them. Wherever we have gone and spoken about Racketlon, it has been well received. All the four sports, table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis are well known in the country so it’s not difficult to promote Racketlon, the only thing is we need to explain the concept. Clubs, states, towns and players have given us feedback and enquired about Racketlon, so it has been tremendous.
Q 2) How does Racketlon pair one individual to another based on varying skill levels? What is the format of the game?
In Racketlon, two individuals play table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis in the same session. First, table tennis will be played for 21 points, after three minutes badminton will be played for 21 points as well. After that, a 21 points game of squash is played followed by tennis for the same number of points. The beauty of the format is such that whoever scored the maximum number of points across all the four sports is the winner. Winning at one sport is not enough in Racketlon. When a draw is made, an assessment of the player is made based on their past performances and we have a committee that assesses their history and analyzes their strengths amongst the four sports. Accordingly we decide the pairs, make the draws and through this format a player can progress.
Q 3) What are the challenges that you have faced in promoting Racketlon in India? How can they be overcome?
While Racketlon was officially recognized in 2017, the work had already begun from two years prior. We have not faced any challenges in India as the concept has been widely accepted. All the four Racketlon sports, table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis are extremely popular and played by a large number of people, they only need to understand the concept of how Racketlon is played. Racketlon is known across all four zones in India and we have done extremely well in bringing awareness of the sport. In 2018, we participated in the World Championship in Zurich, in 2019 we participated in the World Racketlon Championship in Leipzig, Germany. We had the India Open World Tour Event in Udaipur, the Ahmedabad - Gujarat Open for Indian players in 2019 and we had a local Racketlon tournament at Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana at Khar in December 2020. Lots of people have participated and enjoyed playing Racketlon.
Q 4) What are the benefits of Racketlon as compared to playing each of these sports separately? What are some of its achievements so far?
Racketlon virtually challenges you both mentally and physically as well as strategy wise. If you look at the concept, first you play table tennis, then badminton, squash and tennis. There is a different field, object and the beauty is you have to keep on switching among these four games immediately after finishing a match within the time limit of three to five minutes. It is challenging as it requires a very different kind of approach as ultimately total points are going to be counted at the end of the game. Each and every player has to fight for every single point as there have been instances in the past where players have lost the match by barely 1 or 2 points. Our Indian players by nature love challenges and look forward to new and interesting things. Hence this sport is perfect for them as India is very well acquainted with all the four games in Racketlon. Besides, the game provides a great challenge as all the four sports require different levels of movement, focus or footwork, not just that the instant switches also demand good mental strength. The sequence is also pre-determined and you cannot change it. Sequences remain the same whether it's a local, national or international level tournament. Virtually you are playing four different sports one after another so your endurance, flexibility and mental strength are all tested. At the end of the day, you realise you had a wonderful time and are satisfied and relaxed both mentally and physically.
Q 5) How much has Racketlon grown in India and across the world? Do you see a lot of potential for this format in our country?
The sport of Racketlon in Europe and other parts of the world has been played since 1980. It has a great history. It was introduced by the great former tennis player Fred Perry and since then it has improved. Almost thirty different countries are members of the global body. The sport is played on a large scale in Europe and now in America as well. We started Racketlon and began to work on it officially in India in 2017. We have already formed Racketlon State Associations in Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Delhi. The Maharashtra State association is already with our national body. We are also in process and discussion with Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and they are very keen to form a state association as well. Due to the pandemic situation for the last two years many of our activities have slowed down but when we return to normalcy, all the states will be affiliated to our association within five years and we will go globally on a large scale. In the last two years we have done extremely well internationally as well. There is no shortage of infrastructure in the country as most of the schools, universities, club, township or big housing society have all the four facilities available given the popularity of all these four racket games. The only requirement is that all these facilities remain in the same compound or at one place. We also need to activate some events in India. We have plans to start inter school, inter collegiate and inter university and are in touch with some of the renowned universities in Haryana and Delhi where they have all the infrastructure and are also keen to start this sport. Very soon we are going to start an All India inter University tournament. We are also going to invite other Universities of Asia and Europe in future so that those players can also come and participate. When the youth and juniors participate they come in a very large volume and this brings in the involvement of parents and the whole family. Hence you can imagine the future of racketlon. For that we need to reach the masses through media platforms and we are always open for communication and discussion as far as the racketlon is concerned.
Q 6) What are your plans and vision for Racketlon in the future? How do you plan to achieve them?
We have already formed about five state associations and are in the process of another three state Associations. When these state associations are formed they naturally become our partners in the process. These state associations will be forming the district association and when that chain is established it will have a big growth. At the same time, Racketlon is offering all the categories - kids, adults, women, double singles and team events. We have 40-45-50-55 up to 70 veteran events as well. People have options to play in various age groups and categories. It offers a lot of things to choose from and participate in. Our National association - Racketlon India Sports Association is in the process of creating structures with all four facilities. It will become a centre of national facilities and we will be providing table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis all at one place. We have already acquired the land and we are going to proceed with it with hope to complete the project within two and half years. We will be providing all the facilities and national camps will also be organized. People will be coming there to train for Racketlon at the same time we will be activating the sport in our country in our own national centre and we will be inviting various global, renowned players to participate in our events in India. That's our vision and plan for the future and we intend to carry big teams in the World Championships and to Europe and participate in as many tournaments as possible in the country and Europe, which will also bring a big growth. As all these racquet events are well established in our country and racketlon India is hardly 7 years old, it takes time for any new thing to make its place. Also, by adding racketlon we have opened a window for our Indian players to become global. There are many players who are extremely good at these individual events but have a saturation and cannot go beyond a particular level in those individual sports but when they come to racketlon and are good at two or three sports they are getting an opportunity to go international. We have seen a lot of badminton players play for our Indian team last time and they were wonderful but were finding it hard to go ahead at the international or national level. Hence they took up racketlon and represented India in racketlon. This is another platform which we have opened up in the country, we just need support from all so that our players can represent our country in one more sport. That's our vision.
We want to identify the best sporting talent and provide opportunities and financial support - Moonmoon Mukherjee, Founder at P3 Sports Management Company
From representing India in Table Tennis to giving back to the sport that started it all as a International Table Tennis Association (ITTF) certified level 3 coach, Moonmoon Mukherjee’s contributions cannot be understated. Winner of the Women Achiever award in 2014, Moonmoon is helping develop a sporting culture, sport properties and promoting grassroot development and is aspiring to reach newer heights.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Moonmoon Mukherjee, Founder at P3 Sports Management Company speaks about the challenges she faced as a professional table tennis player, using that experience in a coaching career, importance of sports management, grassroot development, impact of COVID-19 and future goals.
Q 1) As a woman who has represented India in Table Tennis, what are the challenges that you faced in your journey? How did you overcome them?
I started playing Table Tennis at the age of 8 years, I’m from a small town called Chandannagar, Hooghly. It was difficult to travel for my training everyday to Kolkata and manage both academics and Table Tennis but somehow I balanced both. Availability of proper infrastructure was a big problem. During those days, there was not much knowledge about proper equipment (Rubbers, professional racquets and balls) and access to those products was rare.
Q 2) As a former table tennis player, how much of an advantage was it when you transitioned to coaching? How did you use your experience as a table tennis player in your coaching career?
When I did my first coaching qualifications (ITTF level 1, evell 2 and level 3), I was just starting out as a player. This meant I wasn’t actually coaching that much. The lessons I learnt during the qualifications – technique, tactics, mindset – were of great benefit to me as a coach. I thought about table tennis in a different way and began to understand the sport comprehensively. My technique improved and my range of shots increased. The tips I gave to other players about footwork, stance, spin generation, ball placement and shot selection were also implemented in my own game. Here are some things that I have got better at since I am coaching
Watching my opponent – During coaching sessions, I have to play and watch the other player, so I can give feedback on the player’s technique, timing, footwork and shot selection. This has been very beneficial for me when I play matches. By watching my opponent more, I see what shot is coming next that little bit sooner, which means I can react quicker.
Speed control – When coaching, I have to control the pace of the drills. This sometimes means slowing the ball down or speeding up, depending on the level of the player. This is a very useful skill when playing matches. Sometimes I need to inject more pace into the rallies, but other times, taking the pace out of the rally can really disrupt the other player. Some fast attackers just don’t know how to respond to this!
Ball placement – When coaching, I need to be accurate in my ball placement, both in regular and irregular drills. This has been very useful when playing matches as my ability to hit different areas of the table (from anywhere) has improved a lot.
Backhand technique – A lot of coaching requires feeding the ball using my backhand. The sheer volume of balls I have hit using my backhand means my backhand technique is now far more consistent. This has made me a stronger allround player. My backhand is pretty solid now.
Pushes and blocks – I am becoming a master of pushing and blocking – especially blocking! So much of my coaching is about developing the attacking skills of the other player. So they top spin, I block. Topspin. Block. Topspin. Block. When you block 14 hours a week, you get very good at it!
The lead instructor of my level 1 qualification told me that some players sign up to the course, not to get into coaching but to get better at table tennis too. My belief is that if you only do a little bit of coaching, but still have plenty of time to practice for your own game, then coaching can definitely help you improve.
Q 3) What led you to start the P 3 Sports Management Company? How important of a role does sports management play in today’s day and age?
P3 Sports Management was born out of passion. It is a pioneering sports organization founded by a set of like-minded individuals aiming to bring mainstream sport to public consciousness, with a specific focus on Olympic and non-Olympic games like Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash, Volleyball, Basketball, Carrom, Tennis, Football and Cricket. P3 Sports conducts a series of championships & coaching programs to get people to truly enjoy their athletic spirit. The founders of P3 Sports have been conducting sports championships and coaching for the last several years in and around Mumbai and California, US. P3 has conducted more than 30 sporting tournaments and handled 1000-plus players. It has a combination of reputed sports experts and industry professionals on our Board of Directors and advisors. Conducting corporate, inter-schools and state level championships along with providing grass-root training and mentoring to sports enthusiasts and under-privileged children. We organised Doctors Indoor Games in collaboration with WOCKHARDT In 2019. Our aim is to be India’s topmost change-maker in the field of sports by introducing Sports Tourism Packages for Indian School’s with the collaboration with CSS (Complete Sports Solution). Mr Dhrmil Dixit, Marketing head of P3 & Mr Ankit Garg, Business development head are very hopeful about this development and believes that this would be a game changer in the Indian sporting industry. I think Sports Management plays a vital role in today’s sports scenario. Management in sport organizations provide sports development, general planning activities in the field of sports, organize all relevant resources, processes and functions, exercises a policy of human resources development, organized sports and business functions, provide communication and coordination.
Q 4) According to you, what needs to be done to promote a sporting culture in India with a strong grass root development program?
Indians at large, have never been the 'sporty type'. Sports are not ingrained in our psyche. Neither is it an integral part of our everyday life. The passion for sports has only resided in a small percentage of the population. Statistics indicate that while 42% of our population participates in Cricket, the average participation for all other sports (Badminton, Cycling, Running, Football, Volleyball, Tennis, Table Tennis ,Swimming, etc) is below 13%. Research suggests that the sports industry is poised to grow at about 20% over the next decade and contribute between 1 - 5% of India's GDP. In addition, national sports programs such as Khelo India, the efforts of the various sports leagues and most importantly, the focus on health & fitness are all contributing to growing awareness and improving participation. Girls and women are today equally participating in sports and winning laurels for India which is a wonderful sign from a nation development context. The ladies constituted about 45% of the CWG 2018 team and won 42% of the medals. However, this is not enough.
Unless India makes a structured effort to broad-base sports and increase participation at the grassroots level, we will continue to lag behind, not just on social development and youth inclusion parameters but also deliver limited success at world sport events. We must remember that the goal (health & fitness) is sequential and definitely more important than the outcome (Olympic medal). While the sports ministry has to lead the charge, other stakeholders i.e. corporates, entrepreneurs, national federation, state level associations, equipment manufacturers, media & service providers have to come together to develop & promote the cause of sport.
My visual thoughts on the same are captured below:
The journey of an athlete, begins with school and community participation, progresses through the zonal & district levels onward to representing India at the national & international level. However this journey from interest in sports to participation to potential and then to excellence is a long and tough road and success rates are as low as 2 - 3%.
This journey has two distinct phases - (1) Participation and (2) Performance Excellence, and is important because it equips the youth with life skills that help shape core elements of his personality. All the athlete expects from the ecosystem around him is support, best wishes, encouragement and inspiration. We should be large-hearted enough to give it. The journey of a nation, towards emerging as a sporting superpower needs focused investing in a structured program focused on grassroots sports development. This will deliver numerous benefits, one of which is the National Sports Talent Repository, which, when nurtured, delivers international sporting success, youth icons, Olympic glory and national pride. We have to demonstrate the passion & the will to participate in this journey and hold others accountable who are not aligned to this nation's purpose.
Build awareness and launch propaganda
Grassroots participation and local community connect: Unless schools and communities are seamlessly integrated into focus, this plan will not bear fruit. For this to happen, local community influencers, key personalities, participant families, the local sports community and the local governance machinery has to come together as one. Today, there are grass root development agencies that have built a deep understanding and strong connections that have to be leveraged to make this happen. The second step is to understand the local community in terms of its historical association with sports. For example, if a region in Punjab (say Amritsar, Gurdaspur & Kapurthala) is historically known to produce hockey players, focus on hockey in that region. Don't create an archery program in this community because it will defeat the purpose. At the same time, if another region in Punjab (say Moga, Muktsar & Faridkot) has strengths in weightlifting & athletics, then focus on the same.
Back end execution support: Grassroots sports development needs an exceptional program manager & event orchestrator to coordinate across multiple parties such as state associations, local media, sports facility owners, participants and the community to bring this to life. Quality has a price and therefore higher expectations on event quality, one needs to have a proportionate budget.
Q 5) How much of an impact has COVID-19 had on sports tourism and corporate sports events?
The pandemic has brought events to a near standstill, and the industry feels it but as challenging as the situation has been for the sport and tourism businesses with reduced live attendance or cancelled events, we are seeing some light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel and I’m optimistic sports and tourism will return. The experience will look different soon, but humans crave interaction and need social network, I am optimistic that the next six months will show significant indicators of tourism recovery in all verticals, including sports tourism and event leaders plan to come back stronger, with higher standards of cleaning, enhanced technology and operations, better organizational communications, and an overall improved organization culture derived from experiencing the pandemic together.
For now, sport and tourism organizations will continue to navigate the murky, ever-changing situation of the pandemic and hope to open their doors to full capacity again soon. Corporate Sporting events are also at a standstill but I am very optimistic about the return that corporate sporting events will return with a bang soon, as corporate professionals are also looking forward to participating as soon as the pandemic situation improves. COVID-19 has brought in a wave of challenges and opportunities for the sports sector. While several events have been cancelled or postponed, the technological advancements have helped generate viewership and engagement through Esports.
On occasions traditional sports and Esports have worked together to organise events with real-world players participating in online competitions representing their teams, which were streamed live and well-received. This speaks for the tremendous growth potential should the sports and gaming industries work in tandem. This is also indicative of the immense potential of sports which has found ways to continue to entertain even during such difficult times.
The show will go on … eventually.
Q 6) What is your vision for the future of sports management in India? What are your goals and aspirations for P 3 Sports Management Company?
Sports management companies are coming up every day in India and cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad now have some world-class companies in this sector. ... Marketing and branding have also a great scope in the field of sports. Sports marketing managers and sponsorship managers are much in demand. With very few professionals being available (most seek employment abroad) there is constant demand for qualified professionals in the field of sports management, like Business Development Managers, Store Manager Sports Station, Area Sales Manager Sports Textiles, Category Manager - Retail Sports, Sports Director and Sports Coordinator, Digital marketing Manager, Players Management etc. Various sports leagues and thus the field of sports management have a great scope now. Sports leagues like IPL, ISL, UTTA, PBL, Pro Kabaddi League have created significant impact on the Indian sports scenario. These leagues will surely increase the requirements for industry professionals.
The passion for sports is at the core of our Mission. Our primary motive is setting and achieving targets and moving beyond our limits in life. Enabling people to achieve their highest goals in sports and improve their well-being. Development of grass root level sporting ecosystem in India. Launching Professional Coaches Training Programs and helping sports enthusiasts to learn and master the game of their choice to represent, participate and compete in sporting events. To identify, coach and train young talent of India, providing them access to best facilities, coaches, mentors and sponsors. Creating a platform that brings together the amateurs & masters playing, learning, competing and winning on the same grounds. Our motto is to identify sporting talents from B Town cities and provide them the best opportunities and financial support. Also support Para-Athletes through our NGO (C.A.R.E FOUNDATION) which we will be launching at the end of July - 2021.