This past Thursday, March 16th 2017 SAinSports hosted our first event, The Future of Sports, and it was huge success! We enjoyed an insightful panel discussion from four members: Priya Desai, a digital correspondent for Sports Illustrated and one of America’s first Indian-American sports broadcasters, Hrishi Karthikeyan, the Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs at the NBA, Ishveen Anand, co-founder and CEO of OpenSponsorship and Akash Jain, the Vice President of International and Commercial Development at the NFL. The panel was moderated by a very humorous, Rohan Nadkarni, staff writer for Sports Illustrated.
The discussion covered a variety of topics from what it’s like to be South Asian in the sports industry, diversity in sports, hurdles women are facing, career advice for student attendees, politics, digital consumption trends, working in South Asia and how the NBA and NFL are adapting to international markets. Attendees also had a chance to ask the panelists questions, network and mingle.
The discussion was live tweeted, check out some of our favorite quotes from the night!
SAinSports will be hosting and participating in a few more events this year and we will be keeping you posted right here.
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What I witnessed on Sunday was truly inspirational. I had the honor of attending the Global Sports Mentoring Program, Class of 2016’s presentations. The goal of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) “which is run by the U.S. Department of State and espnW and is administered by the University of Tennessee Center for Sport, Peace, and Society, is to empower women worldwide through sports. Each of the so-called emerging leaders, who have built some experience in the sports industry, is paired with an executive at a top U.S. organization. While they’re in the U.S., the participants and their mentors will shape action plans to take back to their home countries.” Every emerging leader goes through an intense four-week mentorship program.
Prior to the start of the program, each year, each emerging leader had identified a key need or challenge facing girls and women in their home country. The class of 2016 presented their action plan over the course of two days. I attended day one. From the first eight presentations, I can say with confidence, the most amazing thing to see was how unique each and every plan was. Not one plan had the same vision as another, each emerging leader talked about different initiatives to achieve their goals and each plan will make an ever lasting impact.
I began to talk to various individuals of the program including mentees, mentors, program developers and other GSMP advocates and the amount of energy and vibe I felt was incredible. Each and every person in the room wants to be able to change the world, one action at a time. Some of the emerging leaders have established organizations and others are starting fresh but, each leader walks away with more information and resources than ever before to grow or jump start their program. Not to mention the countless number of life long memories they make along the way.
Some of the emerging leaders from day one of the presentations…
“I can be a voice for women who don’t have one.” – Paola Kuri (Mexico)
“Sport gave me endless opportunities.” – Silvija Mitevska (Macedonia)
“Women’s voices are not heard in Pakistan.” – Rabia Qadir (Pakistan)
We all know that women and girls who participate in sports gain life skills that will allow them to transcend in leadership roles. Everyone deserves a chance and everyone has the right to participate in sport but not everyone has the opportunity. With their network broadened and having more resources available to them, through the GSMP these women will succeed and more will have that opportunity.