In early October, I travelled to India along with a group of Deakin University colleagues for Deakin Sport Week. Over the course of the week, we participated and led a variety of activities themed around sport. The ‘main-event’, so to speak, was a workshop entitled ‘The Women in Sport Movement: Challenges and Solutions in India’ held at the Australian High Commission in India on 9 October. Attended by approximately 40 members of the sport community, myself and colleagues from Deakin University spoke about the importance and the challenges of women participation in all levels of sport. Critically, the key arguments were not just about getting more women playing sport, but also about getting more women involved in coaching, officiating, administering, and governing sport as well. Perhaps the one consistent theme throughout the workshop was the role men can play in advancing this cause.
Outside of this major event, members of our team attended and presented at the Sports Analytics Conference held in Mumbai, attended schools to deliver workshops outlining the range of careers available in sport, educated agents on the offerings available for study, and collected data as part of a broader research program.
Overall, the week continued to illustrate the common theme regarding sport in India. There is enormous opportunity for sport in India, in all sectors, but there are also enormous challenges. As we engage in more research in India examining and verifying the roots of these challenges, we hope to open the sport sector in ways that will have social, health, and economic benefits.