Six former athletes, from diverse disciplines, have been chosen by Pine Labs for the launch of its scheme ‘Second Innings’, in association with Natekar Sports and Fitness.

‘’We have a very vibrant startup economy. We have great talent in sports. If we get associated with them, it is a win-win situation for everyone,’’ said the CEO of Pine Labs, Amrish Rau, in an interaction with The Hindu.

Amrish Rau

Amrish Rau
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The scheme attempts to help retired athletes to enter the corporate world by assessing them, understanding their field of interest, and equip them with suitable skill through training for a rewarding career.

‘’There are thousands of athletes who do not make it big owing to a variety of reasons like financial instability, injury, or politics. We are trying to help the vast pool in a small way with a transparent process. We don’t want to bite more than what we can chew,’’ said Gaurav Natekar, Asian Games gold medallist and former national tennis champion.

Gaurav Natekar

Gaurav Natekar
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The first set of athletes, who have been chosen from different cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, and National Capital Region (NCR), Chennai and Goa, belong to chess, hockey, football, tennis, and athletics.

There are both men and women, who will be given six months training in Pine Labs before being positioned in a job, best suited to them.

‘’We are keen to take this idea to other organisations to try and replicate this model. It may take time’’, said Amrish.

‘’Well begun is half the job done. There are some amazing stories in Indian sports. It is a learning process for us. We will try to increase the number of athletes as much as possible, without compromising on the quality’’, said Gaurav.

Overall, Amrish was delighted that the launch of the scheme coincided with the celebrations of 75 years of Independence, even as the athletes are busy showcasing their class in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The idea is not only to create more job opportunities for athletes, but also inspire the young generation to take up sports in a big way, without worrying about securing a career.





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