Monday, March 26, 2007

Money!!!! Money!!! Money!!!

Money cannot buy happiness.... it also can't buy gold medals and world championships. This is evident with the dismal performance of the cricket team. I hate to make another reference to the "men in blue" but it is a great lesson for all of us in the sporting world to see that it takes a lot more than funds to achieve success.
There is obviously no doubt that money is an important component to creating champions but it is not the be all and end all. The formula for success is a tricky composition of desire, hard work, talent, planning, competitiveness and money. The problem with us in India is that there has been a dearth of funds. Not that the funds don't exist... they are just flittered away in non productive ways. Planning is one of the most important factors to achieving success but if you talk to most coaches and sports admin officials they don't really have a plan.... and if they do it is not a very good one.
In a lot of cases the coaches who are doing it with the best of intentions, spend so much time trying to raise money for their athletes that they forget to develop a hunger, passion and desire in their wards.
There is no shortage of funds in India what we really need is people who can come in and formulate a plan to create champions. There has to be some accountability to be able to produce results and unfortunately right now we not only have a bunch of over paid, under achieving athletes but also officials.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happiness is all about looking in the right place

I am sure today could be constituted as one of the darkest days in the country's sports history.... India suffered a crushing defeat to Sri Lanka which in most probability has ended their world cup campaign. So while 99.9% of the population is mourning the loss there are a few of us who are looking at the positive side of things. Because while the whole country will only be ruing the loss, we are focussing on the other bright spots.
For starters Mr. Ronjan Sodhi (double trap shooter) has won a bronze medal in the Santo Domingo World Cup. Well of course no one knows about it and of course most of the people don't care but it is a big deal. He even managed to get a mention in the paper which during the world cup madness might be a even bigger feat. Anyway for those of you who don't have any idea Ronjan is the India's up and coming shooter and shoots the same event as Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (whom i hope you know... and if you don't he is the Olympic Silver medalist). It is a good start to the season and should give ronjan some confidence in his bid to qualify for the Olympics.
Well now that the cricket is over i think it is time for the country to check out the rest of the happenings in the sporting world. Well there is the boxing nationals in Hyderabad, and if one is in the mood to see people knocking each other's lights out then Gachibowli stadium is the place to be. It is a strong field and some of the best pugilists are in action. Then there is also our No. 1 squash lady, Joshana Chinappa who is in action in France against Jenny Wright (WAL). There are a slew of other athletes all starting to get ready for the Olympics and the Qualifiers that they will need to go through. These guys face a tall task and little support from the homeland could take them a long way.....

Now that the cricket is out of the way lets start our campaign for that little event next year.... the 2008 Beijing Games..... OOOH AAAH INDIA!!!!

Changing the face of Indian Sport

The Mittal Champions Trust was set up just over a year ago by Mr. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal. The goal is simple bring India Oympic glory. Simple? Think again. The Trust was set up due to the efforts and urging of Mr. Amit Bhatia (who also happens to be Mr. Mittal's son-in law). Being an athlete himself and an avid sports fan he wanted to do something that would help his country and give back to sport in general.We now support 7 disciplines and over 35 athletes. The selection process has been made following a simple model. We have taken some already established athletes who deserve support for all their hardwork and some promising juniours whom we are grooming for the future. The trust has a long term outlook and is aiming at the 2012 London Olympic Games as our target.We have adopted sports and athletes that we believe India is closest to succeed. Grooming an athlete is not an easy task. We take care of every aspect of our kids that will be necessary for them to achieve success. Their coaching, equipment, travel, nutrition, mental strength, fitness and medical support. We also stand by our kids morally and this gives them a sense of security that they never before had.We are doing something that has never been done and are confident that by taking "the road less traveled" we are going to get India to the top of the Olympic podium.