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Stars descend at TOI’s inaugural Right to Excellence, Sports Summit 2023 | More sports News

NEW DELHI: Times of India’s inaugural ‘Right to Excellence Sports Summit 2023‘ held here on Friday was an overwhelming success as champions of Indian sports, administrators involved in governance and other members of the sports fraternity from the business side of sports exchanged ideas, which provided an insight into the future of sports in India.

Among the galaxy of stars, who have represented India at the highest stage, present on the occasion were Olympic medal winning boxers Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kombesides long-jump icon and World Championship medallist Anju Bobby Georgewrestling great Geeta Phogat and 2011 cricket World Cup winner Suresh Raina.

After an opening address by Madan Lal, former cricketer and a member of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning team, the event saw panel discussions on sports governance & policy-making, the business of sports and the growing contribution of women in Indian sports.

Adille Sumariwalla, the president of the Athletics Federation of India, shared the stage with Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Commodore Pushpendra Garg and former star Paralympian and Paralympic Committee of India president Deepa Malik.
“India is now absolutely well set (to become a sports powerhouse) with the population it has of youth and the facilities they are getting, also with the media support they are getting, especially Times of India having these great conferences where minds meet…It is a matter of time that these youngsters will really shine and we become a sports superpower,” said Sumariwalla.


GMR Marketing Head Sujoy Ganguly, founder of iOS sports Neerav Tomar, COO of JSW Sports Divyanshu Singh and Bollywood actress & Pro Panja League promoter Preeti Jhangiani threw light on the economics of sports in one of the panel discussions.
Multiple-time world champion Mary Kom and Vijender shared anecdotes that took the audience back in time, while reliving their journey to the top of the boxing world. Their sessions were moderated by India’s former champion double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi.

“I come from a very humble family…parents’ blessing are important to achieve success,” said Mary, highlighting the role of family support in an athlete’s success.
She added: “Just talent is not important, you have to keep working hard.”


Raina, whose chat with moderator and former India cricket captain Anjum Chopra rounded off the Summit, engaged the audience as he narrated how he came up the ranks from a humble beginning as a boy from Uttar Pradesh who dreamt to make it big in cricket.

On the sidelines of the event, Raina said, “Thanks to Times of India for organising this Sports Summit,” before going on to talk about the much awaited ODI World Cup to be hosted by India from October 5 to November 19 this year.
“India, Australia, England and Sri Lanka or Pakistan,” said Raina when asked to pick his semi-final favourites for the upcoming mega event, which will be hosted by India.

“It will be amazing (if India win the Asia Cup and then the World Cup too)…My message to Rohit Sharma and his men is to go out there, express yourself and get us the World Cup.
“Anyone come, see,” Raina said on a lighter note.

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