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Leander Paes: “We want to give 250 million children in India the chance to play sports”

Leander Paes: "We want to give 250 million children in India the chance to play sports"

Ninety-nine per cent of children in India don’t get to play sports because of the lack of facilities, kits and other shortages. We want to change that,” said Leander Paes, as he declared a partnership with Shrachi Sports Ventures at ITC Royal Bengal on March 7.

With the partnership with Shrachi, we want to give 250 million children in India the chance to play sports,” announced Paes. He was present featuring Rahul Todi, managing director, Shrachi Group, as part of the Trailblazer 2.0 sports conclave.

My Kolkata caught up with Leander Paes and Rahul Todi on the sidelines of the conference to study more about their collaboration. It aims to ignite a new wave of sporting participation in India.

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Leander Paes Joins Forces with Shrachi Sports Ventures to Transform India’s Sporting Landscape

My Kolkata: You mentioned that 250 million children will have the opportunity to engage in sports in India. How do you plan to achieve this target? What are the specific plans in place?

First of all, I’m a big believer in Shrachi and the Todi family. They’re doing great work and I’m looking forward to our partnership to help the grassroots. Urbana is a great example of what Shrachi is trying to achieve. With the kind of sports facilities they have put in there. If you look at Singapore and China, every housing complex has sports facilities. That’s exactly how we’re going to start off with Shrachi Sports.”

“My company, Flying Man Ventures, will work with Shrachi’s designers to develop these projects. I’ll be looking at the sporting designs. The vision behind this is to go to all the rural areas of the country. And alsocall the metropolitan cities of the country and give children an opportunity to play sports. We want to use sports as a vehicle to create a healthy environment and ecosystem for our country.”

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When you think about sports, it’s not just about playing, but also apparel. When you go to the rural areas, those children don’t get proper shoes, socks and other basic equipment that’s needed for sports. That’s what we’re trying to do. One other vertical of our business is to go with athleisure besides bringing in professional clothing for athletes. We also want to reach the masses with some really cool active wear attire.”

The work has to start at home. If you look at the Shrachi Group and the amount of work they’ve done in West Bengal in real estate, it’s really impressive. Now Shrachi Sports Ventures will be coming to enhance Shrachi real estate so that the whole vision is to create the ecosystem using sports to bring people together.

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