GoSports Foundation

Empowering India's Future Olympians

Home
Board of Advisors

Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra – Being the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics (2008 in Beijing), Abhinav Bindra is India’s most successful Olympian and a recipient of the Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time. He is grooming the next generation of gifted Athletes through the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Programme.

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid – Celebrated as the most technically gifted batsman of his time, Rahul Dravid has more than 12,000 runs in Tests and 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. He was awarded the ICC Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year in 2004. Rahul brings his experience and knowledge of high-level competitive sport and his insights on management and administration to the board. Through the Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorships Programme, he helps young athletes across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines to cope with the rigors of competing at the highest levels.

Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand – Former All England Champion and current Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand has been responsible for the emergence of Indian badminton players as a force to reckon with. His work has been recognised by the Government of India through the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Arjuna award, Padma Shree award and Dronacharya award.

Trustees

Nandan Kamath - Managing Trustee

Nandan runs a boutique sports and intellectual property law practice in Bangalore advising the country's top athletes, governing bodies, teams and brands. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the University of Oxford (on a Rhodes scholarship) and the National Law School of India. He was an avid cricketer at the junior level, representing the India Under-16's and captaining the Karnataka state team. Previously, Nandan has worked in California, Hong Kong and India.

Abishek Laxminarayan - Trustee

Abishek was a world ranked junior tennis player and a US varsity tennis athlete. He graduated, with honors, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Computer Science from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is the co-founder of Indavest Ventures LLC, an early stage Venture Management company, with a presence in India and the US,  that plays an active management role in each of its portfolio companies. Abishek is also founder and Managing Director of Surya Infotainment Products, a Bangalore-based information aggregation company with a retail presence.

Previously, he was engaged in the Investment Banking (M&A) practice of Lehman Brothers (New York), and in IT Project management for Deutsche Bank (Bangalore)

Abishek is a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and is an avid traveler and wildlife enthusiast.

Thomas Ollapally - Trustee

Mr. Ollapally graduated from one of the early batches of the PGDM Programme of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is currently the Managing Director of a reputed Bangalore based property development company.

With over 35 years of professional experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge and management expertise to the table. An avid sportsperson himself, he believes that nurturing the right talent at the right time will help foster a sporting culture in India.

Team

Deepthi Bopaiah - Executive Director

Deepthi Bopaiah, formerly a wealth advisor and a trainer during her stint of 6 years with HSBC, decided to pursue a longstanding interest in sport. A sportswoman herself, she has previously represented her University and Karnataka State in tennis and basketball. Deepthi holds a Business degree in Finance and Marketing from Symbiosis, Pune and a Masters in Economics from Pune University..

Aparna Ravichandran - Head-Partnerships

Aparna worked as a German language translator, but then decided to follow her passion for sport. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature Studies from Fergusson College, Pune, and a Masters degree in Sport Management from Loughborough University, England. She trained in Taekwondo during her school days and follows cricket and tennis avidly today.

Arnab Das - Programme Lead

Despite a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Arnab chose to transform his passion for Sports into a viable career option. He pursued a Masters in Sports Management from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) in Kolkata and joined GoSports Foundation in 2014, following the completion of his course. When not working, Arnab diligently follows European Football and has been a passionate supporter of Manchester United since his childhood.

Akshay Chowhan - Assistant Manager Operations

Akshay is a Sports Science and Management graduate from Nottingham Trent University. Apart from being an events and marketing assistant, he has previously worked with Decathlon Sports and Nottingham Forest Football Club in England. During his free time, Akshay follows Chelsea Football Club and is also a fitness enthusiast.

Madhura M - Programme Associate

Madhura is a graduate of Biomedical Engineering, from Dayandasagar College of Engineering, Bangalore. In her student years she had represented Karnataka State in Football and Volleyball. Despite being an engineer she wanted to give it back to sports and hence chose GoSports Foundation to pursue her passion.

Sumanth Nagaraj - Operations Associate

Sumanth is a BBA-LLB graduate from Karnataka State Law University. Being fascinated about sports and entertainment law, Sumanth developed a particular fondness for sports management with a stint at the Champions Tennis League. He is an avid motor biker who is passionate about exploring cultures within India. Apart from cricket and tennis Sumanth keenly follows motorsports and badminton. At the Foundation Sumanth seeks to use his legal education and his keen interest in sport for the wellbeing of its beneficiaries.

Arun K S - Athlete Manager

Arun is a Sports engineer with an MSc. from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He started his career as an IT associate, but the passion for sports transformed him into a sports engineer. He is also a certified fitness instructor and worked as a trainer for Reebok Running Squad. He loves running and holds a 5 km personal best of 0:18:39.

Shreyas Rao - Manager - Athlete Education

Shreyas is a sports enthusiast and has been involved in several research and on-field initiatives over the last three years. Formerly an engineer, he completed his postgraduate degree in social entrepreneurship from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in 2014. He pursued a research dissertation on football academies of Kerala as a part of the course. Post that, he worked at Jungle Crows Foundation which is involved in supporting children from disadvantaged communities through the medium of rugby. At GoSports, he hopes to mainstream "sports thinking" to play an active role in professional sport as well as policy making in the Indian context.

Tushar Kalyan - Associate Partnerships

Tushar has completed his BBA Hons. degree from Christ University. Being a sports enthusiast, Tushar decided to follow his passion for sport. Before joining GoSports, he worked on his own website called Baller. Tushar is an avid golfer and has been playing the sport for over 6 years now. He loves following cricket, tennis, and golf and is a passionate Manchester United fan.

Kundan Kumar Sinha - Programme Associate

Kundan is an engineering graduate in Electronics & Communication from Cochin University of Science & Technology. He is passionate about badminton and has played the sport at University and State level. Today, sports is not just a passion or means of entertainment for Kundan but an enjoyable profession involving assisting athletes fulfill their sporting potential.

Panel of Experts & Coaches

John Gloster

Head of Sports Science at the GoSports Foundation, John is an Australian sports physiotherapist of 24 years’ experience, working with both elite athletes and the general sporting population. He has worked extensively with international cricket for the last 17 years, most notably as physiotherapist to the Indian cricket team for 3.5 years as well as Surrey County Cricket in England (1998-2001), Bangladesh National Team from 2001-2004, and Rajasthan Royals (IPL Franchise Team) for 8 years. John is often seen on numerous TV shows in India for expert comments on sporting, health, lifestyle and injury related issues both in the sporting as well as the general population.

He currently sits actively on 3 advisory boards for school and health related projects in Mumbai and across India. John is also board advisor and Chief Quality Officer of KOOH Sports.

Girish Manimaran

Co-founder of Stillwater Consulting, and a “Newfield Certified Coach”, Girish also has an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. A renowned Trainer & Executive Coach Girish is the one of the sports psychologist associated with GoSports Foundation and works with its athletes to help them unlock their true potential.

Aparna Popat

A former national champion in Badminton for a record equalling nine times, Aparna Popat has also represented and won multiple medals for India at the Commonwealth Games. Bringing to the team her vast array of knowledge and expertise in the game of badminton, Aparna is the Mentor to the Badminton Development Programme and will be over seeing the proper structuring and implementation of the Programme.

Suma Shirur

A joint world record holder in women’s 10m Air Rifle, Suma Shirur has also won multiple medals for India at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. With a wealth of experience in professional shooting and coaching, Suma is the Mentor to the Abhinav Bindra Shooting Development Programme and will be over seeing the proper structuring and implementation of the Programme.

Deckline Leitao

Deckline Leitao CSCS, NASM-PES, CPT is attached to the TATA Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Bangalore as a Sports Performance Specialist.

Deckline studied graduate and post graduate Sport Science in South Africa and the UK and his specialist skills encompass posture correction, sport specific fitness conditioning and nutritional supplementation. He believes that Indian sportspersons need a slightly altered approach to fitness due to their unique cultural, physical and nutritional profile. He considers necessary a holistic approach to fitness training combining effective elements from exercise science, yoga and martialarts to bring out the best in Indian sportspersons. “Train smart, not just hard” is his philosophy infitness.

Digpal Ranawat

Currently the performance director of the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centers, Digpal holds a Bachelors degree in Physical Therapy from Manipal University. He holds a doctorate in Osteopathy. He is one of the few Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning association USA, performance enhancement specialist by National Academy of Sports Medicine, USA. Certified Pilates Instructor by Polestar Pilates and a Certified EMS trainer. Before his current assignment he was the personal physiotherapist to Mr. Abhinav Bindra and was part of his support team at the Rio Olympic Games.

Dr. Shama Kittur

MBBS, Sports Nutrition IOC - Dr. Shama Kittur is the fitness consultant and chief-in-charge at VESOMA Sports and Fitness Medical Center. Her expertise in the area of sports injury and management is augmented by her personal involvement in the field of sports. She prescribes rehabilitation and fitness protocols to expedite recovery in players thereby enabling them to get back to their mainstream competitive sports. She is the Sports Nutrition expert at GoSports Foundation.

Friends of the Foundation

Rohan Bopanna

With multiple ATP tour titles to his credit and a career-high World doubles ranking of No. 8, Rohan Bopanna is a much-respected name on the tennis circuit. After having pursued a successful partnership with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and reaching the US Open doubles final in 2010, Rohan made his Olympic debut in London with partner Mahesh Bhupathi. Their team ended 2012 on a high – as finalists at the prestigious World Tour Finals in London comprising the best 8 teams in the world. Rohan is actively involved with multiple causes and has been a longstanding supporter of GoSports Foundation in his quest to support young Indian athletes with journeys similar to his own.

Shayamal Vallabhjee

Shayamal has more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry as an expert sports and exercise scientist. He is equipped with an amalgamation of knowledge and experience, besides a degree in Sports Science, a postgraduate degree in Exercise Science and a Diploma in Sports Management. His knowledge encompasses various aspects of training within a sport – biomechanics, hydrotherapy, rehabilitation, massage, counselling, kinesiology and core conditioning. Shayamal´s varied global experiences include his stint as the Director at Digi-Sports CC, an organization to promote performance enhancement of athletes and as an exercise consultant to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Shayamal is also the Founder and Director of The HEAL Institute – India's first and only Sports Medicine and High-Performance Centre. The HEAL Institute is a state-of-the-art facility for injury management, postoperative care, sports specific rehabilitation and exercise science, and offers a holistic approach to health and wellness.

GoSports Foundation Champions

Gaurav Natekar

A former India No. 1 in tennis; Arjuna Awardee and a Davis cup veteran. Gaurav was a double gold medalist at the Hiroshima Asian Games in 1994 and at the 3 South Asian Federation Games held between 1993 and 1997. Originally from Pune, he completed his graduation from Madras Christian College and is now working tirelessly to ensure that India’s latent talent for tennis is successfully nurtured in his role as CEO of Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy.

Kunal Agarwal

Born and brought up in Pune, Kunal is a huge sports enthusiast, a football fanatic and an Arsenal fan. He did his MBA from Clark University, Massachusetts, USA, is currently on the Board of Directors of Bhoruka Logistics Ltd. and Koolex Cold Chain Ltd. He is passionate about raising the bar for football clubs in India and has launched two professional football clubs himself.

Gopal Amin

Gopal serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at SLK Global Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and had served as the Managing Director of Kirloskar Copeland. He is a Member of the Board of Directors at SLK Group of Companies. He is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Inst, MA.

Dharmesh Mangwani

Dharmesh has been a former School and college athlete in football, athletics and tennis. He is currently the Joint Managing Director of Aquapharm Chemicals Pvt. Ltd and Chairman of Delval Flow controls Pvt Ltd.