Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham: give back to sports

The September edition of SportsMeet witnessed talks by Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham,  entrepreneur Gautam Mukherjee and student and hockey fan Manoj Mahala.

SportsMeet is an informal monthly meet up for the sports professionals and enthusiasts.

Winner of several medals in both national and international level, athlete Reeth Abraham, talked about – Giving back to sports. She said sports persons or people with sports background should occupy important positions in sports organisations; however this doesn’t happen much in India; Many Indian sportsmen came from poor or rural backgrounds as they saw sports as an opportunity to get a government job. Now due to lack of education and exposure, they hesitate to get into administration jobs.

Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham speaking. Pic courtesy:Sportsmeet

Reeth is a part of Clean Sports India movement, which aims to create an environment where former sports persons can manage local level clubs, state level associations and national level federations. She emphasised that most bureaucrats and politicians who run sports bodies tend to have limited knowledge of sports and often turn out to be corrupt. Clean Sports India is a 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 sports person 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.

Dr. Gautam Mukherjee, from Edusports also spoke about how sports not only keeps the body fit, but also imbibes lessons of life like leadership and teamwork.

EduSports 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 children, not necessarily to make them champions in sports, but rather to make them champions in life. 

The current physical education programs in schools are inadequate to provide opportunities for all children 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 in sports we can hope to have a fitter and healthier generation.

SportsMeet volunteers with key speaker Reeth Abraham — with Jeren Thomas, Reeth Abraham, Naveen Ningaiah, Subhajyoti Banerjee, Rudra Nayan Das and Suddhashil Ghosh at Christ University. Pic courtesy: Sportsmeet

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 last talk was by Manoj Mahala who runs a hockey fan website, thefansofhockey.com. Manoj, a research student, has developed the site, with help of friends and well-wishers. The site not only provides news of Indian hockey events but also directly covers some of the hockey events.  The Fans of Hockey also provides a huge collection of fantastic photographs, some of which he shared during his presentation.

SportsMeet’s Naveen Ningaiah introduced ‘run Arun run’, a unique ultra-distance running initiative by 43 year old Arun Bhradwaj, (facebook.com/runarunrun) aiming to run from Kargil to Kanyakumari in 60 days, starting from October 1st 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.

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