Sports Summit on “Sport and the Development of a Nation” on 28th February, 2019 at New Delhi

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Mahatma Education Society’s Pillai Group of Institutions organized a FIFA/CIES/PILLAI Sports Summit on the theme “Sport and the Development of a Nation” on 28th February, 2019 at Hotel Taj Mahal, Mansingh Road, New Delhi. The Summit was inaugurated by Chief Guest Padmashri Shiny Wilson (4 time Olympian and Asian Games Gold Medalist). The Brochure of the prestigious PILLAI/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management to be conducted by the Pillai Institute of management Studies & research was released on the occasion by the Chief Guest in the presence of prominent personalities form the world of sport.

The Summit brought to fore the challenges and opportunities offered by the sports industry for the development of India. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Wilson emphasized on the need for strengthening sports at the grassroots level by instilling a sporting culture among our youth. She mentioned the role played by initiatives such as Khelo India that have given the right impetus in this direction. The Guest of Honour, Mr. Kuldeep Vats, Vice-President, Indian Olympics Association & President, Delhi Olympics Association, opined that the increased level of participation in different sports at the Olympics and the improved sporting ecosystem in the country point to a bright future for the sports industry in India.

The prestigious collaboration of the Pillai Group with FIFA/CIES University Network, offers scope for a two-way transfer of competencies and sharing of best practices. Being a part of the FIFA/CIES University Network will allow the Pillai Group to become a leader in the field of sport management in South Asia and enable the group to nurture and develop skilled sport managers at the level of federations, clubs, small sports associations, government, corporates and local sports entities.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Chairman, Pillai Group of Institutions highlighted the crucial role played by sports in the development of nations worldwide while noting that it was no different in India. He said ‘Our partnership with FIFA/CIES has come at a crucial time where our country is all set to take its sports ecosystem towards a new direction. We are proud that our alumni include nationally and internationally known athletes who have participated at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, Indian Premier League (IPL) and Indian Super League (ISL)’.

At the inaugural session, Prof. Pierre Lanfranchi, Scientific Coordinator at CIES, Switzerland, emphasized the need for such training in sports organizations in the Indian subcontinent. “The Indian sub-continent is witnessing an increasing demand for sports management professionals in recent times. At CIES, we developed the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management with the objective of equipping such professionals involved in the various sporting federations, associations and clubs with the necessary management tools while taking into account the specificities and realities of the local environment. It is a pleasure to associate with the Pillai Group of Institutions in launching this Programme in the Indian sub-continent. We will be able to leverage their expertise in management education as well as their contribution to sports in our endeavour to develop sports management professionals primarily for this geographic area”.

The inaugural session was followed by two panel discussions on “Khelo India and its impact on sports development in India” and “Beyond Playing: Careers in Sports”. The panelists on the Panel Discussion on ‘Khelo India and its impact on sports development in India’ were Mr. Pratik Jumar (director, Sashakt Foundation), Mr. J S Waraich (DGM (CC) Head Sports, ONGC), Grp. Capt. Deepak Ahluwalia (Secretary, IAF Sports Control Board) and Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran (President, Football Delhi). The discussion as moderated by Mr. Sujit Panigrahi, Founder & CEO-Sequoia Fitness and Sports Technology. The panelists on the Panel Discussion on ‘Beyond Playing – Careers in Sports’ were Ms. Shiney Wilson (Former Olympian and Asian Games Gold Medalist), Mr. Dhiraj Malhotra, (CEO Delhi Capitals), Mr. Ashish Shah (CEO Delhi Dynamos), Captain Bahl (Secretary Indian Navy Sports Control Board) and Mr. Novy Kapadia (Sports Commentator and Senior Journalist). The discussion as moderated by Mr. Nikhil Sharma, CEO-zlait Sports Management.

The panelists, all prominent personalities in the realm of sports deliberated on the respective topics from the perspective of sports as a vehicle for development. The speakers in one voice felt that the heightened level of interest in different sports in India and the increase in media participation fueled by enormous consumer demand are positive signals for the sector. Programmes such as these fulfill the demand for well-trained individuals in sport related fields and create employment in a multitude of professional settings especially as sports managers, directors, promoters, marketers and administrators.

While concluding the event, Mr. Franav Pillai, Director of the PILLAI/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme added enthusiastically, “It is a matter of pride for us to be associated with FIFA/CIES that enables us to significantly enhance our contribution to sports development”.