Arnav studied Sport Business and Leadership at Loughborough University London.
Arnav now works as an Athlete Manager at the GoSports Foundation.
Why should someone choose Loughborough University London and your programme in particular?
I had two main reasons for choosing Loughborough University London. The first being the tradition, history and expertise of Loughborough University, especially in sports. The reputation and body of work of the University are second to none when it comes to sports. When one adds the experience of studying in London, that too on the Olympic Park itself, it was a very easy decision to make for me. One can get the benefits of Loughborough's academic and research prowess while enjoying the experience of the multitude of opportunities that being in London brings.
I chose the Sport Business and Leadership programme as it allowed me to learn about the management of sports businesses and also various types of leadership theories which can be applied by a leader/organisation. I truly believe that leaders are made and not born, and leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time. The programme has given me tremendous insights into how people think and behave and the learnings will remain with me for my entire life.
How has Loughborough University London inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?
Loughborough University London is a true melting pot of cultures and different academic disciplines. Interacting and learning from students and faculty from across the world was very enriching for me. The quality of education provided was world-class, combined with the great organisational visits, guest lectures and volunteering opportunities available each day was filled with new experiences and challenges.
The year at LUL has equipped me with the necessary skills to succeed in the sports industry in India and beyond.
Tell us about your most memorable experience on your course
There were many memorable experiences throughout the duration of my course, including visits to the 'homes' of both Cricket (Lord's Cricket Ground) and Football (Wembley Stadium) and guest lectures by some sporting legends. However, the most memorable one for me was the visit to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.
This visit was part of our first module- Leadership Models & Practices, which was an introductory module on leadership theory. Learning about the leadership practices employed at the Academy was an eye-opener especially when we were able to link those practices and their application to a sporting context. It was also our first field visit and it gave all of us students a chance to interact with each other outside the University and get to know each other well.
Tell us about your career journey so far and the company/organisation you are currently working for.
Once I returned home after the course, I interned at the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), which is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to provide support to India’s top athletes. This gave me a great understanding of the Indian ecosystem, for when I started my current role as an Athlete Manager at GoSports Foundation. We are a non-profit venture working towards the development of some of India’s top talents in Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, through athlete scholarships and knowledge building programmes.
In my current role, I am personally managing 20+ Olympic and Paralympic athletes some of whom have already qualified for the Tokyo Games, and are medal hopes as well. My core role is to ensure that the circle of experts around each athlete including their coach, physio, nutritionist and other sports science experts is always closed. We also plan their travel and training schedules in consultation with the experts working with the athletes.
I am also part of the GoSports Education Team. We lead education initiatives for our 120 athletes and have also done some work on coach upskilling. We have organised workshops for athletes covering topics such as athlete wellbeing, nutrition, injury management, rest & recovery, sport psychology and mental health.
I have also been involved in curating panel discussions as part of the Beyond the Finish Line series before the 4 major marathon/runs that take place in India. The panellists have included some of the top Indian athletes as well as international legends such as Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Carmelita Jeter, Hernan Crespo and Shannon Miller.
During the pandemic, I have been leading the PlayforIndia initiative (www.playfor.in) where we are trying to raise funds for those workers in Indian sport who've been hardest hit by the pandemic. We have raised over INR 5 million (~GBP 55,000) in about 45 days. We are continuing to work towards supporting those truly in need during these testing times for the entire world.
What do you love the most about your current job?
The sheer number of opportunities I have gotten in a short span of time has been amazing. From working with India's top athletes to curating events, organising workshops and now being able to truly give back during the pandemic has been amazing. I believe I would not have been able to get these opportunities at any other organisation at this stage of my career.