Ragalahari Coverage: FICCI Ladies Organization Talk on "India's Potential as a Sporting Nation"
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FICCI Ladies Organization Talk on India's Potential as a Sporting Nation

Two Olympian Badminton Players Jwala Gutta, Ashwnini Ponnappa, Indian Foot Ball Team Captain Sunil Chhetri and Indian Women Cricket Captain Mithali Raj today addressed a talk "India's Potential as a Sporting Nation" to the gathering of 200 plus Young FICCI Ladies Organization(YFLO) members at Hotel Park Hyatt at Banjara Hills.

The talk was moderated by Vijay Mohan Raj, former RaHPIayer for Bombay and Hyderabad, President of SKAL Intl local Chapter and Managing Director of Uniglobe Sameera Travels.

India with 1.2 billion people with diverse sports culture has potential to become sporting nation. But, we are far behind from it. In this light of background, the talk is organized to kindle a thought in all our minds, so as to make India the sports nation and sporting becomes a culture here, said Samia Alam Khan, Chairperson of YFLO while giving her welcome address. We have the every potential to become a giant sporting nation. But, what is holding? Let us hear the experts Sarnia said.

One sport nation cannot be called sporting country. Just Cricket cannot take us anywhere. Equal attention must be provided to sports other than cricket which is not even an Olympic sport and has limited appeal in the international sporting arena, Samia argued. While appreciating the growth of this sport, let us take inspiration from this and allow other sports to grow too, she added.

Despite giant population, what we lack is effective participation of populace in sports. It is abysmally low. Obviously when a very small section of people participate, only handful of them make to the top. If the base is small, obviously those reach peak will be few, Samia added. In this light of background, first time ever in the recent past YFLO is making an attempt to broach a discussion on a sporting subject, Samia informed.

India is home to a diverse population playing many different sports across the country. Nearly forty different sports are played very widely in India. Equal and more number of sports are also played. India has always been rich in culture, tradition and games have been an important part of Indian culture. India gave birth to many sports. People and governments are becoming more sports conscious now. Sports culture is slowly picking up. Sports play an important role in promoting an active healthy lifestyle, creating a culture of sportsmanship and team spirit. Individuals and corporates see sports as a new business opportunity now.

Several Indian players lika Jwala Gutta, Sunil Chhetri, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Viswanathan Anand, Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes, Geet Sethi, have made big strides in the international arena. And there are many others also.
Personnel who are better informed and better connected to opportunities can perform better over others, who are equally capable and educated individuals. Well informed and connectedness makes an important difference. A poor boy Ragi Rajanikanth making fast strides in Sailing from Hyderabad is a good example in this direction.

Government must allow PPP(Private and Public Partnership) Business Model in Sports. GHMC has many parks, play grounds. While some of them are used well, many are underutilized. Such play grounds can be given on rent. So that they are not only made useful to others, but will also earn revenues and being maintained well. Similarly Apartments, Educational Institutions can give their play areas on rent to those who want to utilize.

Another interesting development which surfaced in the recent past is alternative sporting venues such as terrace football ground like the HotFut, indoor badminton court in city and other are coming up.

So games become popular where information and access is widespread. So that more it facilitates more participation will be there and produces higher results.

For sport to develop three things are essential—The Facility, Skill and Fit Body. Government alone can not do all those things. Private enterprises have a role to play.

Sports are an organized business in western countries and many other developed economies. However, it is different here, it is an initiative led by government. Corporate Sectors too become part of sports, but through CSR initiatives only. There are exceptions where corporates participate purely for business reasons in leagues which is just a latest phenomenon.

Lack of sports culture and non- recognition of sports as an industry in India are among the major challenges for sports to grow in the country, which is expected to gain momentum by the introduction of more leagues on the lines of IPL.

The entry to the talk is by invitation to the members of YFLO, their guest and children only. Young FLO (YFLO) is a forum for the career women between 20 and 39.

The Hyderabad Chapter of YFLO began its operations in the year2002 and has a membership base of about 400 members. Some of the services and activities of the FLO include: Personality Development, Awareness Programs, Training, Business Consultancy, Networking and Recognition.
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