Kamath and Habibulla are founders of gosports foundation, a not-for-profit sports management organisation
Passion and strong belief in India's sporting talent led to the formation of GoSports Foundation-owned by Nandan Kamath and Hakimuddin S. Habibulla-in 2008. While Habibulla swam for India at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games his co-founder, Kamath, a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Oxford, is also deeply passionate about sports. This sports management consultancy hopes to empower the sporting talent in India through "different levels of monetary support, but its primary focus is on creating surrogate support systems for each sportsperson to help them achieve their goals. We envision an India where young sportspersons with world-class potential are given all the support necessary to achieve their dreams," explains Habibulla.
At present the organisation has chosen to focus on three sports: swimming, badminton and women's hockey. Based in Bangalore, geographic location is not a hindrance for them to support athletes. They believe in quality over quantity which is why they currently support just six deserving athletes and plan to add only five more in the near future.
The monthly stipend their athletes receive is a crucial financial support for uplifting athletes from challenging backgrounds and reinforces their belief that sport is a powerful vehicle for socio-economic development. Their efforts have also been validated as some of the athletes with the foundation- like swimmer Prasanta Karmakar who won India's first medal in aquatics at the Commonwealth Games; Rani Rampal, the hockey player, who won the award for 'young player of the tournament' at the hockey world cup and was the second highest goal-scorer of the tournament; and Virdhawal Khade who won India's first medal in the pool at the Asian Games after 24 years- have done well in recent international competitions.
- Kamath specialised in law while Habibulla studied engineering. They started GoSports Foundation two years back.
- They believe start-ups are often riddled with challenges but ones a success it can be immensely satisfying and rewarding.
Reproduced From India Today. © 2011. LMIL. All rights reserved.