Former Indian tennis player, Asian Games Bronze medalist and CEO of JSW sports, Mustafa Ghouse wants to make a global sports powerhouse.
At the recently held TedTalks talks in Bengaluru, he shared his experience of building a platform to help India become a global superpower in the sports world.
He also highlighted the potential India has in achieving greatness in sports and how to tap this potential of Indian Sports. Mustafa paints a picture of the current situation in India of general apathy towards sports that aren’t mainstream.
What did Mustafa Ghouse say at the TedTalks?
The Head Honcho of JSW sports portrays football as a perfect example of untapped potential. It is true that most Indians brush off FIFA World Cup qualification as a joke. We consider it an impossible feat.
It is also true that a huge number of Indian youngsters are fans of football and the popularity of the sport is ever increasing. But most of these youngsters (including me) are avid fans of clubs like Manchester United, FCB, Arsenal etc.
Very few of us watch and support Indian football. Despite being diehard lovers of football we choose to ignore our local teams. The situation is so bad that mere qualification seems like a herculean task, let alone dreaming about lifting the trophy!
Indian athletes have time and time again proven that they can excel if given the most basic encouragement and support. Ghouse mentions that “we fall short on aspects which are part and parcel for international athletes but for us they seem premium”. This is very true. We are unable to provide infrastructure for training and basic safety gear. There are instances of athletes training barefoot because they cannot afford sports shoes. JSW Sports aims at changing this situation.
Ghouse brings up another important obstacle in our medal dreams that is the stigma attached to pursuing a career in sports in rural India. Many athletes fade away due to lack of support from family. Altering the psyche of the Indian society at large will be the most challenging step in making India a powerhouse of sports.
Ghouse believes that, if a population of 1.3 million Indians starts with baby-steps now, we will surely see a huge difference in the points table by the year 2024.