The Tendulkars, Kartikeyans, Sanias and Sainas have become sports icons that have boosted sports in India like never before. But there still are a few sports where we are yet to make a mark and water sports is one of them. The main reason for this is that there is no infrastructure of facilities available for aspiring sailors to learn this sport. However, this week Navi Mumbai became the first among neighboring cities Mumbai, Thane and Raigad to start its own Yacht Club. The club will aim training sailing enthusiasts for international level sports like Olympics. Water sports are one of the most exciting forms of sports around the world. It’s one sport that seems to be celebrating the bounties of nature like water resources. However, to make a world class player in the sport, there is more than just a beautiful coast that you need – excellent infrastructure, equipments and professional training are the other requisites to name a few. Not to forget it involves a whole lot of investment as well. The intricacies of promoting the sports are that; there are no yacht clubs in this region to make training in water sports available for sailing enthusiasts. It is here that Navi Mumbai has become “a first again” by beginning the “Navi Mumbai Yacht Club” – a venture of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik’s vision and his younger son MLA Sandeep Naik’s efforts. Our curiosity to find out more about the club landed us early morning on a boat with MLA Sandeep Naik – who perhaps, you don’t know, is a skilled sailor himself ! After the adventurous hi-speed trip in the sea area, we sat up for an exclusive chat with the young MLA. The advantage for Navi Mumbai is that it has a beautiful coast. Unfortunately it has not been utilized to promote water sports yet. The founders of Navi Mumbai Yacht Club – Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and MLA Sandeep Naik want to train the youth of the Agri and Koli community in the sports because these communities are completely cut out for water sports at the root level. The Navi Mumbai Yacht Club has taken Malav Shroff as coach – the only Indian to represent India in Olympics in this sport in Athen 2004. The training of Malav Shroff clubbed with world class infrastructure will definitely create players who will represent India in Olympics, says MLA Sandeep Naik. What’s more? The Navi Mumbai Yacht Club will also give financial backing where needed to those having the skills and talents in water sports. Students from not only Navi Mumbai but Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and other nearby cities too will be invited to be a part of the club. Besides this, three training camps in a year and a spate of boats and yachts are sure to make Navi Mumbai an attractive and popular destination for sailing enthusiasts from all over the country. MLA Sandeep Naik believes; like all the other Navi Mumbai patterns that are being replicated by neighboring cities, the Navi Mumbai Yacht Club pattern too will be replicated from regional to the national level. Well, when you have the vision of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik working and MLA Sandeep Naik executing, there’s no doubt that the Navi Mumbai Yacht Club will become Navi Mumbai’s pride and other cities envy. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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