Published: 11th July 2019
Karanataka-based Inspire Institute of Sport provides world-class facilities and training for those aspiring to make it big in sports
The Institute trains athletes in various sports like judo, boxing, wrestling and track and field
With the likes of sports stars like Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Neeraj Chopra, Nikhat Zareen and the Phogat sisters as their alumni, the Inspire Insitute of Sport, Karnataka has certainly earned a reputation.
Today, with about 210 students in their campus, IIS provides world-class facilities and support to athletes who show the potential. The institute was started on April 18, 2017 largely to figure out what was lacking in Indian sports and what can be done better so that Indian athletes can maximise their potential.
"We initially started training them in boxing, judo and wrestling. Since then, we've had athletics (track and field) and we will be looking at adding swimming at a later stage. We also house the Bengaluru Football Club Junior Academy in the area. It's a vibrant campus with different sports happening simultaneously," says Rushdee Warley, CEO of the Institute.
The institute is situated in Bellary, about 370 kilometers from Bengaluru and athletes are provided a good environment with world-class facilities, coaches and sports scientists to create an atmosphere where they can focus on what they're doing every day. "We want the athletes to understand that they have the potential to compete with the very best in the world. And we work with them to ensure that they have everything they need at their disposal," says Rushdee and adds, "There is absolutely no lack of talent in the country. What's lacking is a combination of good facilities, coaches and sports scientists, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists all together. Our selling point is that we can provide all that under one roof, under the banner of one institute."
In order to select the athletes, the coaches and scientists from the Institute go around the country, visiting different events at state and national tournaments, looking for athletes that were performing well. "Once we select the candidates, we invite them to IIS to spend about two weeks with us. We put them through a range of tests and assessments, be it physical or medical, we observe them to see how they adapt to the environment, their tactics, and whether they have the drive and how they prepare to give more than necessary," adds Rushdee.
Once the training begins, the athletes are also encouraged to give constant feedback. It is an ongoing performance analysis. Currently, the institute has staff from over eight different countries like USA, France, Scotland and India. "What we've also done is to understand the culture of the place and not just train them based on our perspectives. It's a two-way learning," Rushdee.
At IIS, athletes are provided with board and lodging, training, medical and psychological support and the right nutrition. And the best part? It's completely free. "It's not about whether you can afford it or not, it's about whether you are good enough or not. We believe that in giving those who have the drive and the potential all the opportunities for them to reach the highest level of performance," concludes Rushdee.