Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, May 01, 2011
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs |

Sport - Sports : General Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

OGQ mission has become a reality: Sethi

G.Viswanath

Mumbai: A firebrand Geet Sethi of circa 2000 appeared quite mellowed and pleased at the C.K. Nayudu Hall, Cricket Club of India on Friday evening.

Now 50, and 10 years after he founded brand ‘Olympic Gold Guest' with a visionary zeal with badminton legend Prakash Padukone, the cue sports maestro said “the objectives set out by the promoters of OGQ has become a reality.”

But a bit restrained he told Yes Bank officials in the course of a motivational lecture as to why he became angry in 1998 after the Bangkok Asian Games and extremely critical of India's sporting system in 2000 soon after the Olympic Games in Sydney. Sethi made his Asian Games debut memorable winning a gold and silver medal in doubles and singles English billiards. Cue sports became a medal sport at Bangkok.

Sethi began saying: “I got first exposure to a multi-sport event being part of a strong 400 plus official Indian contingent at Bangkok.

“Of course there were 180 athletes and 240 officials. For the first time I saw for myself the lackadaisical attitude of the officials and inefficiencies of Indian sport.

That made an indelible impact on me. I became vociferous and used all opportunities to speak against the system, government and federations. I became a nuisance to some.

“Then at the Sydney Olympics, at a dinner function, I saw complete despair in the eyes of the Indian athletes. They knew they had not been given enough training and were 30 to 40 per cent less than the benchmark. Karnam Malleshwari was the only Indian who won a medal (bronze) at Sydney.”

After the lecture Sethi told The Hindu that Bangkok 1998 had created a “completely negative mindset” about the way India's athletes were treated and of the system.

Landing in Mumbai from Sydney in 2000, Sethi boarded the first flight to Bangalore, met Padukone and impressed upon him the need to do something for India's neglected sportspersons.

“I had become very vociferous and shouted about the system. I said to myself enough of talking and the time had come to do something. Prakash is the eternal gentleman of Indian sport and he agreed to my thoughts.”

“Nothing happened for five to six years until 2006 when we met Shitin Desai (Vice-Chairman DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd.) and R. Ramaraj (Senior Advisor, Sequoia Capital India).

“They opened the cheque book and straightaway pledged Rs.25 lakh each.

“Thereby began the amalgamation of the sporting and corporate world. There was a sporting ethos in the OGQ keen on making a vision into a reality.

“Today it's a reality. Every penny raised by OGQ is spent only on the sportspersons”, said Sethi.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Updates: Breaking News |

Sportstar Subscribe


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2011, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu