Image Credits: @FICCI
The 10th Global Sports Summit: 'FICCI TURF 2020' came to a close on Wednesday with special focus on a variety of topics, leaving various stakeholders with conclusive information and knowledge to take forward in their respective businesses, and put to use in order to help accelerate the development of the Indian sports ecosystem.
As part of the International Conference on Business of Sports, 12 different sessions were organized, aimed at focusing on some of the most important topics surrounding modern-day sports.
After a very successful opening day on Tuesday, the 10th Global Sports Summit: 'FICCI TURF 2020' returned today with six sessions. The first of which saw Former World Champion in shooting, Dr Heena Sidhu take the centre-stage as she spoke on how sports can play an important role in educating youth. Her day-to-day experiences and insights into the lives of young athletes was very well taken by the attendees as well as fellow panelists in the form of Mr Vimal Anand (Director, Department of Sport, MOYAS, Govt of India), Dr Biswajit Saha (Director, Vocational Education & Training) and Mr Amit Bhalla (Co-chair, FICCI Sports Committee & VP, Manav Rachna Educational Institutions).
The second session turned into one of the highlights of the day, with moderator Ms Shabnam Panjwani (Co-Chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, FICCI and Head Marketing & Communications, Edelweiss Group) predicting that "in 50 years, women will be the force to reckon with" as the panel spoke about 'Sports for Women, Women for Nation'. Ms Panjwani was joined by Indian boxer Ms Nikhat Zareen, eminent sports journalist Ms Sharda Ugra, Mr Rushdee Warley (CEO, Inspire Institute of Sports), Mr Sanjog Gupta (Chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, FICCI, and Head of Sports, Star India) and Ms Neha Rastogi (Founder & CEO, WordsWork Communications).
The 'Growing Role of Science & Technology in Sports' was also a hot topic on Wednesday afternoon as panelists Prof S Arumugam (FICCI Sports Committee Member & Director, Center for Sports Sciences), Dr Pralay Majumdar (Head of Sports Science, SAI), Mr Manish Upadhyay (Global Business Head, Sports Tech, Tech Mahindra) and Mr Muralidharan Srinivasan (Founder & CEO, GSC), provided their insights on the current landscape, and how the use of science and technology in various sports bodes well for better performance and recovery.
A similar session followed with 'Sports and Fitness Startups: Changing the Game' being the topic of discussion. Mr Inigo Bonilla (Head, Strategic Alliances, GSIC), Mr Raunaq Jaisinghani (Investment Specialist, Invest India), Mr Ajay Pratap Singh (COO, Sportskeeda) and Mr Jitender Choksi (Founder, Fittrgympik) were among the panelists who kept the conversation around fitness startups going, and spoke about the challenges and advantages faced by both investors and founders of such businesses.
The last of the six sessions held on the day was the discussion around important topics like CSR in Sport, Sports Development Goals (SDGs) and Sport for Development (S4D). The concluding session was moderated by Ms Shabnam Panjwani (Co-Chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, FICCI and Head Marketing & Communications, Edelweiss Group), and was attended by Mr Suheil Tandon (Founder, Pro Sports Development), Ms Aishwarya Sehgal (Assistant Programme Coordinator, Social and Human Sciences Unit, UNESCO) and Ms Neha Sahu (Co-Founder, Just For Kicks) as panelists.
The session focused on the new study ‘Understanding the Sport for Development Sector in South and South East Asia,’ which was released by FICCI in association with Pro Sports Development (PSD) and Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA).
Mr Suheil Tandon said, "The United Nations has recognized sports as an important enabler of sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals, therefore we have tried to make an effort towards understanding better what the situation is like in South and South East Asia. We were able to draw a lot of key learnings from this study and I am happy that it can further help us in planning and executing future policies."
Meanwhile, Ms Panjwani said, “Sports has the power and ability to impact lives and impact them in a way that it brings positive changes in individuals and organizations, therefore I would hope that these learnings and discussions over the past two days would've helped all the stakeholders in getting more clarity and expanding knowledge of the various topics spoken of here."
From discussions around the Indian Premier League, India's state of readiness for the Tokyo Olympics, grassroots development, the evolution of Indian sports brands, women empowerment, state partnerships, growing role of sciences and technology in sports - to e-sports and fantasy sports - the 10th Global Sports Summit: 'FICCI TURF 2020' proved to be a platform for strategic dialogue to bring together policymakers and the who's who of Indian and international sports industry. The two-day summit also included India’s 1st virtual Global Sports and Fitness Exhibition, which brought together domestic and international buyers, sellers and service providers, who had a unique opportunity to connect with consumers across the world through a low-cost, easy to access platform.
The sessions and exhibition were accompanied by the coveted India Sports Awards, which honored excellence in the field of sports across several categories. Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan bagged the top honors as the Sports Person of the Year awardees. The awards were conferred by a jury headed by Mr Mukul Mudgal (Retired Indian Judge, Delhi High Court, and Former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court).
Some of the biggest names in the sports industry became a part of the Summit including Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, Mr Kiren Rijiju; Chief Minister of Jharkhand Mr Hemant Soren, Ms Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Minister, Department of Sports & Youth Welfare, Technical Education, Skill Development & Employment, Govt of Madhya Pradesh; Mr Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha; Mr Rajiv Shukla, Former Chairman, IPL; Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI and Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Group; Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI; Mr Matt Carrol, CEO, Australian Olympic Committee; Cricket legends VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble; former badminton player Pullela Gopichand; current badminton star PV Sindhu, archer Deepika Kumari among others.