Sportstar’s North Conclave in Lucknow brought together top sportspersons and sport industry experts under one roof for a series of carefully-curated conversations on revolutionising the sports ecosystem in Uttar Pradesh.
The dialogues offered an insight into the lives of the sports stars and helped find ways to ignite the nation’s Olympic dream.
The first session on Thursday had Navneet Sehgal, UP’s Additional Chief Secretary, Sports, discussing what the role of the sports industry can be in the state’s run to becoming a trillion-dollar economy. He said, “We are looking to get a lot of inputs and suggestions from this Conclave today.”
Sports Minister Girish Chandra Yadav also delivered a special inaugural address virtually, saying, “The Conclave will be very beneficial for our players.”
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Former India and Chennai Super Kings batter Suresh Raina, in a panel discussion to find out what an athlete requires to find success, said, “Kids these days are hesitant about going out and playing. The best support system should start from the school level. UP government does great work in this regard. Uttar Pradesh is Uttam (best) Pradesh.”
Next, Primary Education Minister Sandeep Singh elucidated how the National Education Policy takes care of a child’s all-around education.
“Sport plays an important role in a child’s overall growth. We have almost 12,000-plus sports teachers who are specially trained in their respective disciplines. Sports need to be given equal importance as all the other academic subjects,” he said.
Boban Totovski, International Esports Federation’s general secretary, meanwhile, said Esports is en route to becoming a part of the Olympics programme.
“In 2020, we received the opinion from their membership group that we fulfil all conditions to be full members of the Global Association of International Sports Federations. GAISF and IOC (International Olympic Committee) work closely together.
GAISF’s Membership Assembly was supposed to happen in Russia but it has been postponed. So, now we wait. But there will be a lot of documentation, structure and projects,” Totovski said.
Later, Rachana Govil, former ED of the Sports Authority of India, Lucknow, said there needs to be more community programmes to make people aware of women’s safety issues.
“There is a lot of character assassination whenever girls speak with boys. During my playing days, the first thing my mother told me was to not protest when a guy started following me on cycle and was passing comments. Around 40 to 50 per cent of female athletes get bullied or sexually harassed,” Govil said.
The Conclave was held in association with Hero We Care, a Hero Motocorp CSR Initiative, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management, Indian Oil, Shiv Naresh, Life Insurance Corporation of India, NewsX and KSG.