Winning Spin- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU:   Once every four years, the discourse in the Indian public sphere is taken over by the same recurrent topic. As soon as the Olympics conclude, Indians start to wonder why the country doesn’t seem to produce enough world-class athletes that could shine on the international stage. The woeful deficiencies in India’s sporting atmosphere are apparent to all, and few are actively working to remedy that organisationally. City-based GoSports Foundation, however, is one of them. 

Recently, the non-profit received a significant contribution from the team behind the Hindi-language sports drama Ghoomer, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher. Following their guest appearances on Season 15 of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on August 18, along with director R Balki, the trio chose GoSports Foundation as the recipient of their winnings of Rs 12.5 lakh from the show. Ghoomer tells the story of a young cricket prodigy who loses one of her limbs in an accident.

“We’ve known Ghoomer team for a few years now. Sayami Kher, when she started working on this project, wanted to know more about athletes with disabilities. How do they go about this? What is their mindset like? Their journey, training and so on. So, we facilitated that and I think it’s been hugely beneficial to her. Also, Abhishek [Bachchan] knows of us and has seen our work,” says Deepthi Bopaiah, former athlete and CEO of GoSports Foundation, adding that the film is very closely aligned with what GoSports does on a day-to-day basis.

Founded in 2008 by sports advocate Nandan Kamath, former Olympic swimmer Hakimuddin Habibulla and Joseph Ollapally, GoSports Foundation works towards supporting upcoming talent in the country – securing funding and professional expertise for athletes, mainly through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. Over the years, the foundation has worked with many elite Indian athletes, including Srikanth Kidami, and Dipa Karmakar, among others. 

While she welcomes the Ghoomer team’s decision to contribute their winnings to her foundation, Bopaiah stresses that the amount is relatively nominal compared to a budding athlete’s expenses. “In the grand scheme of things,Rs 12.5 lakh is a drop in the bucket. However, it’s a big motivation since it starts conversations and makes people aware that they could also support athletes this way,” she says, adding that most of the funds from KBC will go towards their general scholarship programmes, research and a few other projects.

Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyami Kher, the stars of sports drama Ghoomer, recently selected city-based sports foundation GoSports as the recipients of their winnings of Rs 12.5 lakh from Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 15

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