Blog: Jain University's attitude towards sports is unique

Jain University were already university cricket champions having won the Rohinton Baria title and they did the double by winning the Toyota University Championship last weekend. Dr Chenraj Roychand, Chairman of the Jain Group, told us that he had ordered his sports director to give him 2 Olympians. In 23 years, Jain have already produced four of them in swimmers Nisha Millet, Shikha Tandon, Rehan Poncha and tennis player Rohan Bopanna.

updated: March 12, 2013 12:21 IST
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My first visit to 'Jane' University as it's pronounced in Bengaluru was in 2005. I was in the Garden City for the India-Pakistan Test match and thought that I would sneak out of the stadium for a few hours to interview Pankaj Advani, who I think already had half of his eight world titles in billiards and snooker by then. His brother Shree told me to come to Jain University since Pankaj was being felicitated that day. I ran into Robin Uthappa at the felicitation and then did the obligatory ooh's and aah's when I was told about how he and several other top sports people are from this university. I interviewed Robin for my story on Pankaj, mentioned how Jain was doing a great job of promoting sports and rushed back to Chinnaswamy Stadium. 'Marks for Sports' was all very well but very minor when compared to India losing a Test match to Pakistan, which is what happened in Bangalore.

Fast forward to 2011 and I gave up my 'cricket' job to work on the NDTV-Nirmal 'Marks for Sports' campaign. Advani is one of the sports icons at our launch press conference but I still had not thought about re-visiting the story on Jain University. I didn't even think about it when we had Unmukt Chand becoming the 'default face' of our 'Marks for Sports' campaign.

The real face of the campaign is actually rockstar Ranbir Kapoor! Unmukt led India to the U-19 World Cup win but it was only after widespread media coverage that he won his battle with Delhi University over taking his 1st year exams. Unmukt had to go to court because St Stephen's, his college would not let him take his exams with just eight per cent attendance. Dhoni tweeted saying "Marks for sports takes back seat, attendance for now takes centrestage.

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