Sudip Chakraborty is one of the three finalists in the young executive male category for IEC Awards. The winner will be announced on 19th November at a Gala dinner in Sofitel
Sudip Chakraborty has been passionately and almost voluntarily developing the great Australian sport of Australian Football in India since 2011. After representing India in the sport in 2008 (youngest player in the team), he took up charge to grow the game in India since 2011 when he was 21 years old and organised the Indian team’s tour to participate in the AFL International Cup. He took care of every aspect of the tour himself including managing the team, raising sponsorship etc., along with leading the team on field to India’s first international victory in the sport.
He completed his masters in Sport Management from the UK and spent time with footy-playing countries in Europe to learn how the sport is being grown overseas. He then returned to India to dedicate himself to grow footy in India. While in England, he played for the Nottingham Scorpions team in the AFL Central-North England League and also did his masters’ thesis on “How to promote Footy in Europe” under the AFL Europe Commission.
Sudip travelled around India at his own expense to start and coach footy in the diverse areas of India. “Most of the players who showed keen interest in taking up the sport come from poor families living in the slums or distant villages, and a majority of them belong to indigenous backgrounds,” says Sudip.
He was able to successfully receive a grant from the Australian Government’s Sport Outreach Programme, which helped him establish the national governing body of the sport “Australian Rules Football Association of India”. This programme saw 3,000 kids play footy across the states of Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra along with 60 community leaders/coaches. He was also successful in receiving the Direct Aid Programme grant from the Australian High Commission in India and work with 1,700 Indigenous kids in Odisha along with training 20 community leaders/coaches from the same area.
Sudip managed both the AFL International Cups in 2011 and 2014 and along with fund-raising and managing the tour got the Richmond Football Club to support the Indian team, then hosted the Essendon Football Club in India.