Podcast: The experience of covering the World University Games in Chengdu

In the latest episode of Sportstar Podcast, Nihit Sachdeva catches up with Netra V about her experience of covering the World University Games in Chengdu as part of the FISU Young Reporters Program.

Published : Aug 13, 2023 14:39 IST - 4 MINS READ

India recorded its best-ever performance at the 31st edition of the FISU World University Games held in Chengdu, China, from July 28 to August 8. 

Going well past the previous best of five medals at Gwangju in 2015, India won a total of 26 medals – 11 gold, five silver and 10 bronze. 

The Indian contingent also had some athletes – Jyothi Yarraji, Tejaswin Shankar and others – who will be participating at the upcoming Asian Games and their performance in Chengdu gave an idea about where they are in their preparation for Hangzhou.

To talk more about the World University Games, in this week’s episode of Sportstar Podcast, Nihit Sachdeva is joined by Netra V, who covered the multi-discipline event under the FISU Young Reporters Program.

Nihit - How was the experience of covering a multi-discipline event and basically, what was this young reporters program about?

Netra - This program was basically a collaboration between FISU, the organizer of the World University Games and AIPS, the International Sports Press Association. They collaborated to shortlist eight reporters around the world who are in between the age group of 18 and 25 to take part in the World University Games at Chengdu. Apart from the eight reporters selected, there were four who had already joined as young reporters from the Lake Placid Winter Games. Apart from that, 12 national reporters from China were selected for the program. So, basically 24 of us were a part of FISU’s Young Reporters Program and a young reporter and a national reporter had to be roommates. Me and my roommate were assigned a particular volunteer who was from Chengdu and she would let us know regarding the schedule or the bus timings or she would assign meals for us. So, all organizing work and even the translation part would be taken care of. For most of it. The program had three mentors. They were in charge of us while the national reporters had two mentors. They would assign tasks and give us the sporting event that you cover for the day or what type of story coverage we would be doing for the day, be it report features or even social media for that matter. They gave it a day in advance for us as to what event we would be covering so it made it easier for us.


Chengdu World University Games kicks off as student-athletes look to make dreams come true

Archery goes from escape to life-saver for World University Games gold medallist Pragati

Laxita Sandilea sets sights on crowning glory at World University Games

Nihit - You did seven or eight stories during the program but is there any one story that was quite memorable for you and which sport was it from?

Netra - One story in particular would be Pragati’s, the archery story. She had previously won silver in the women’s team and mixed event along with Aman Saini. She had won a mixed team gold. I, unfortunately, did not get to see her shoot since I had to be waiting in the mixed zone. She had been called by the organizers for some work, so she initially wasn’t able to make it to the mixed zone and I had to ask her coach for his views. But after she was done with her formalities, I connected with Pragati. I did not research much about her but when I started talking to her, I got a lot of information that I probably I didn’t expect to get. And knowing that this was just my second day of reporting, it was a big thing for me that I got the information and was able to convey a very dramatic story as she had a brain haemorrhage a few years back and she returned to archery without knowing that you would ever be able to lift the bow and arrow. She claimed the junior national title and after that, she’s continuously been winning medals. This was a story that was particularly touching and my mentors really liked the story. With the fact that the previous story I’ve written was not that great, this was the one impact story that I was able to cover. Not only did I have to write the reports, I had to ensure there was a feature element in them. The archery report kind of made me stand out for the day.

For more, listen to the episode.

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