Delhi Dynamos are passionate about organic growth

Bharat Kapur, development manager, Delhi Dynamos FC, talks about his team’s grassroots plans.
Your football journey:

Once I completed my education, I joined Trinity Sports Management, which is into grassroots football. I then moved to the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools and then got into the corporate and marketing side of football with Anglian Management Group. I’ve come a full circle and am back to grassroots now, with the Delhi Dynamos as development manager!

Your team’s focus on grassroots football:
The basic objective is to create a huge funnel, and get in as many kids as possible to play football. Once we get in the kind of quantity that we’re talking about into the funnel, the objective is to whittle that down to the final 30-40 kids whom we can train in an elite youth set-up.

Organic growth is something that the club is very passionate about. Delhi is like a mini India – there are people from all over the country here, who could potentially support various Hero Indian Super League teams. The key for us is to build a community within Delhi for the Delhi Dynamos, and actually create that passion within the people that they don’t end up supporting any other club.

The benefits of a foreign technical tie-up:
Big clubs abroad are way ahead of us in the learning curve, so they’re providing us with the expertise, the knowledge, and a lot of human capital as well.
We’ve tied up with Feyenoord, and the Dutch are one of the pioneers when it comes to youth development. Usually foreign clubs come in mainly for the marketing and so on, but Feyenoord really want to help us with grassroots football and youth development, and I see this as a huge step for Indian football that a club of such stature has joined hands with us.

Your grassroots vision:
I picture every kid playing football – that’s my idea of grassroots football. It’s about having good coaches around who are very passionate about the game, are open to new ideas, and are keen on learning new ways on how to teach kids. Grassroots football is about just ensuring that everybody – including the coaches – have fun, with a certain learning and development element to that as well.

Your city’s unique advantages & disadvantages:
I think our biggest advantage is also our biggest disadvantage – the sheer size of the city! If you include suburbs like Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, it’s a huge place. So we potentially have a massive talent pool across the city, but traveling to all corners of the city and finding that talent will be a challenge.

Your team’s immediate grassroots plans:
We basically want to reach out to as many schools as possible. We’ve reached out to a huge number (about 100) already, and gotten them to participate in an inter-zonal tournament. We’re also going to have a ‘train the trainers’ workshop which we’re going to conduct over the next six months.
Our scouts will pick about 50 kids from the under-14 and 50 kids from the under-17 category, and they’re going to be participating in another tournament, as well as train under the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools. So they’re going to train as well as compete. And then they are going to get whittled down to 30 kids in each category. That’s the funnel I was talking about – that we get the maximum number of kids in, and get the cream out.

(This article is taken from: http://www.indiansuperleague.com/grassroots/107-delhi-dynamos-are-passionate-about-organic-growth)

Pro basketball league a big boon for India: American coach

(the link of the article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/Pro-basketball-league-a-big-boon-for-India-American-coach/articleshow/35558237.cms)

NEW DELHI: India’s basketball coach Scott Flemming lays great store by the proposed professional league on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and feels it can do wonders to the sport in the country – but not overnight.

“The professional basketball is a great idea and the the country badly needs it,” Flemming who has also served as the coach and athletic director at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio, said.

Flemming, who has over 30 years of collegiate and professional experience in the US as head coach of the men’s national team, said the professional basketball league, floated by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and IMG-Reliance and scheduled for next summer, should make the sport so popular that the players could make a living out of it.

The former Texas Legends assistant coach felt that the league will spread the canvas, making the selection of national players a lot tougher.

“I agree that a two-month league would not improve the quality of players overnight, but one must start somewhere,” said Flemming.

Most top Indian players are semi-professionals – working in banks, the railways or public sector undertakings – and they play in tournaments organised by either the BFI or in privately-sponsored tournaments.

“The league will give a boost by improving the infrastructure and increasing the pool of players and their quality. Above all, Indian players will have a big platform to become full-time professionals. And I’m sure with time the league could expand and become a year-long affair,” Flemming said.

“Automatically, the number of qualified coaches and referees will go up and with all these positives Indian basketball would get a tremendous image makeover,” he added.

Basketball’s popularity is on the rise in the country and one big reason is the growing fan following of the NBA thanks to the change in telecast timings.

Till last year, all NBA matches started before 5 a.m. India time and adjustments have now been made to the weekend matches to cater to the Asian market, especially India and China. Earlier, for example an Eastern Conference clash which tipped off at around 7 p.m. equated to 4.30 a.m. in New Delhi.

Before the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the timings of some of the weekend matches would be changed. Thus, these matches start at 8 a.m. (Eastern Conference matches) and 9.30 a.m. (Western Conference matches).

Basketball Federation of India CEO Roopam Sharma said the constitution of the league would be on the lines of IMG-R’s other venture, the Indian Super League — a two-month eight-city franchise football tournament scheduled for later this year.

“IMG-R are readying a blueprint for the tournament and it is expected to be similar to the ISL. There would be teams from all the major metro cities and is scheduled to start around July-September 2015,” Sharma said.

With the ISL having faced teething administrative problems as it even had to be postponed twice, Flemming cautioned against jumping the gun and expecting big things immediately.

“This is a new initiative, there are bound to be administrative and logistical roadblocks, it’s not going to be smooth sailing. But this is a long-term project. The seeds have been sown, now we have to wait patiently for it to bear fruit. The process can be lengthy.”

Flemming is certain many American and European hoopsters would be more than happy to be part of the professional league.

“There are many players back in the US, I know personally, would be ready – they are very good but there are just so many players around that not everyone can get into the NBA so they play in smaller divisions or leagues elsewhere.

“Another reason why good foreign players will come is that the league is slated in the off-season. They will see it as a great opportunity to come here for two months and make some money.”

Fleaming was all praise for BFI’s new two-year collaboration with infrastructure major Jaypee that allows the national teams to use the world class Jaypee Greens facilities in Greater Noida.

“The Jaypee Greens facility is the best I have seen in the country. We have been having our camp there for almost four weeks and the players are really enjoying the facilities. We can already see some improvement fitness-wise.

“We need to make such facilities a standard for the national team in other parts of the country. It’s also a great source of motivation for many of of the state-level players to get good enough to play for India,” Flemming concluded.