A never-before-seen workshop and celebration of sports

RevSportz Trailblazers Conclave 2.0
RevSportz Trailblazers Conclave 2.0

Looking at the topics for discussion at the RevSportz Trailblazers Conclave 2.0, Pullela Gopichand seemed fazed for a moment. Normally, India’s chief national badminton coach is ice-cool. He instructs his wards from the courtside and gets excited at times celebrating points. He is seldom at a loss, in victory or defeat.

After inaugurating the conclave, the former All England Open champion had an exclamation mark on his face. “Changing Lives with Sport, Dealing with Pressure, Paralympics, Sporting Ecosystem,” Gopichand said, almost in awe of the diversity of subjects. He also spoke of the importance of cross-discipline interactions.

If this is what it means to someone immersed in sports, imagine what it is for an average follower or someone thinking of sports as career in a non-playing role. We are aware of Abhinav Bindra, Viswanathan Anand, Sania Mirza, Anju Bobby George and the other luminaries attending this conclave — with sports administrators and representatives of the corporate world — making it a one of its kind gathering in the country.

Do we know Bindra’s blueprint for a sporting landscape or his methods of focussing on the target at peak intensity? Any idea how Anand prepared for the World Championship fights and what he thinks of the new generation? How Sania remained relentless in her pursuit of excellence and what she has to tell the youngsters? What prompted Anju to become vice-president of the athletics federation?

There will be unknown and less-known facts at the conclave from people who have not only been there, but done that and more at the highest level. Neeraj Chopra, Paes-Bhupathi, Nikhat Zareen and that’s just a start! A glance through the list of speakers confirms the presence of the who’s who of Indian sports. Never has one heard from so many of them under one roof. Anecdotes to life lessons and inspirations, there will be a range to choose from.

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Sania Mirza and Nikhat Zareen
Sania Mirza and Nikhat Zareen (Source: X)

Different starting points and diverse perspectives

This is an opportunity to understand sports from different perspectives. A session on ‘The New Generation’ will present the story of the upcoming stars. Listening to shooter Esha Singh, equestrian athlete Anush Agarwalla, track and field athlete Jyothi Yarraji and others should be a different experience. They will offer a fresh wave of thoughts.

Many of India’s iconic sports figures are women. PT Usha, Karnam Malleswari, MC Mary Kom, Anju, PV Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu and more, it’s a long list. Acknowledging their efforts and trying to understand the challenges they face, there will be sessions on March 8 — International Women’s Day. Mary Kom, Anju, Sania, Nikhat, Rani Rampal and Joshna Chinappa will be among the speakers.

Para-athletics is an inseparable part of the endeavours of RevSportz. Talks will be held on this area of sports, which does not always get the attention it deserves. The speakers include international medal-winning para-athletes like Sumit Antil, Pramod Bhagat, Yogesh Kathuniya and Manasi Joshi.

Kalyan Chaubey, AIFF President
Kalyan Chaubey, AIFF President (Image: AIFF)

Understanding the role of administrators and investors

Sports is not only about the athletes. It is about an ideal ecosystem and the steps needed to create one. Administrators play a pivotal part, along with the sponsors and others who support sports and athletes in many ways. The role they play is not as eye-catching as the sportspersons when it comes to building a sports-minded society, but it is indispensable.

This conclave will devote time to understand their viewpoints. Adille Sumariwalla, president of the Athletics Federation of India, and All India Football Federation chief Kalyan Chaubey will address the gathering. Actor Rahul Bose, who heads the Rugby Federation of India, will share his thoughts.

Without corporate support, it is difficult to sustain the training, coaching, nutrition, exposure and other requirements of an athlete, who has potential to do well at the top level. Indian sports has benefited from patronage from this quarter.

Chanakya Chowdhury of Tata Steel, Rahul Todi of Shrachi Group, MVS Murthy of Federal Bank and Vignesh Shahane of Ageas Federal will be among others representing this sector. They will offer insights on and share experiences of this critical aspect, which doesn’t usually occupy media space. This makes this conclave a broad canvas, a holistic, two-day, workshop-cum-festival of sports.

Also Read: RevSportz Conclave is by and for the sports journalist fraternity

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