GoSports Foundation conducts Athletes' Conclave 2017

GoSports Foundation conducts Athletes' Conclave 2017

  • K.Srikanth and Amit Saroha win Athlete of the Year in Olympic & Paralympic Sport Category at GoSports Foundation Sports Awards Nite 2017 
  • The Conclave brought together some of India's top elite and emerging athletes for knowledge sharing sessions

GoSports Foundation, a Bangalore based not-for-profit organization conducted the 2nd edition of the Athletes' Conclave in Bangalore on 15th and 16th December. This year’s edition saw 70 of India’s top elite and emerging athletes come together under a single roof for knowledge building sessions on various aspects to make them better sportspersons. The event saw experts touching upon important topics surrounding nutrition, post career management, sport science, anti-doping, along with athletes hearing the experiences of the foundation's advisory board members Abhinav Bindra and Rahul Dravid.

This year’s edition was themed “The Gold Standard” and the objective of the event was to provide a platform for the attendees involved with the organization to converge for the larger cause of Indian sport. Through this Conclave, the foundation aimed to create awareness of the meticulous planning and preparation required to become a champion at the biggest international stage. With the athletes beginning preparations for the 2018 Asian and Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympics, the attendees were exposed to the requisite ideology and information required to prepare holistically.

Talking about the 3rd edition, Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports Foundation, said, “The first edition of the Athletes’ Conclave was held in 2013, followed by a Coaches’ Conclave in 2015. The idea behind organizing the conclave is to share knowledge and at the same time give athletes a platform to learn. We at GoSports Foundation are building a sustainable athlete-centric sporting ecosystem. Ahead of an important year in the sporting calendar, our objective was to build the athlete community by bringing together athletes from Olympic and Paralympic sports for the first time, for them to come together in the spirit of Team India.”

Day 1 began with India’s only Olympic Individual Gold medallist Abhinav Bindra speaking about the Olympic dream, the preparation it takes to make it to the Olympics and the medal winning feeling. Speaking about the conclave, Mr. Bindra said, "I have been associated with GoSports Foundation since 2014 as they espouse my view that talent needs constant attention and support; be it introduction to sport science from an early age or guiding and handholding the athletes to high performance training. The Athletes’ Conclave is specifically designed to bring all our athletes together across programmes and educate them not only about the world of sport but also going beyond to actively involve them in society.”

Day one saw sessions on the Making of Champions, Sports Nutrition, Anti-Doping, and Career Management. The day also saw senior industry leaders representing the foundation's partner organisations Sony Pictures Networks, IndusInd Bank, and Aditya Birla Capital speak about the role of media in promoting sporting stories, corporate support to sport, and the importance of financial management respectively. Sessions on Day 2 included role-play based learning in a media session and touched upon various aspects of sports science, including  physical and mental health.    

The Conclave also featured a chat with former Indian cricket Captain and foundation advisory board member Rahul Dravid, who spoke about playing sport with passion and integrity and making the most of the opportunities afforded to athletes.

GoSports Foundation Advisory Board Member Rahul Dravid addressing the athletes and other attendees at the GoSports Foundation Athletes' Conclave 2017

The Conclave was conducted as a knowledge building exercise for the athletes, with the  ultimate objective of empowering them with the tools to chart their journey to success at the big events, as well as planting the seeds of giving back to sport and becoming productive members of the sporting ecosystem.   

The evening's Sports Awards Nite brought together a Gold Standard Panel comprising of India’s only Individual Gold Olympic Medallist Abhinav Bindra, India’s first Paralympic Gold Medallist Murlikant Petkar, and 2-time Paralympic Gold Medallist Devendra Jhajharia. The trio also released a Gold Standard report on the journey of Abhinav Bindra and Devendra Jhajharia achieving the pinnacle of their respective disciplines.

The Gold Standard Panel comprising Abhinav Bindra (L), Devendra Jhajharia (C) and Murlikant Petkar (R) releasing the Gold Standard Report

The awardees included shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who was bestowed with the GoSports Athlete of the Year Award in the Olympic Sports Category. Srikanth, who has been with the foundation since 2012, thanked them for all their efforts in a video message from the BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals sharing, "I would sincerely like to thank GoSports Foundation for honouring me with the Athlete of the Year Award in the Olympic Sports Category. GoSports Foundation definitely has a great role in my career and they have seen me from the very beginning. In fact, the first international tournament that I played was actually funded by them and I won that tournament.” His counterpart in the Paralympic Sports Category was Amit Kumar Saroha, who returned earlier this year with a silver medal at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championship.            

List of all Winners at the GoSports Foundation Sports Awards:   
1 Spotlight of the year - Bhavani Devi (Fencing) & Shubhankar Sharma (Golf)     
2 Most Promising Athlete (Olympic Sports) - Jeremy Lalrinunnga (Weightlifting)  
3 Most Promising Athlete (Paralympic Sports) - Jayanti Behera (200m, 400m and 800m, Para Athletics)

4 Consistent Performer of the Year - Manav Thakkar (Table Tennis)       
5 Most Improved Performer of the Year - Sharad Kumar (High Jump, Para Athletics)        
6 Enabler of the Year - Rajinder Singh Rahelu (Powerlifting)       
7 Against All Odds - Swapna Barman (Heptathlon)          
8 Spirit of Sport - Mark Dharmai, Manoj Sarkar and Suhas Yathiraj (Para-Badminton Team)         
9 Athlete of the Year (Olympic Sport) - Srikanth Kidambi (Badminton)   
10 Athlete of the Year (Paralympic Sport) - Amit Saroha (Club and Discus Throw, Para Athletics) 
11 Joseph Ollapally Memorial Award - Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting)