Sunday, July 30, 2017
A historical launch – Basketball India Players Association (BIPA)
July 29, 2017 marks a historical date for a historical event in the history of basketball in India. This historic occasion is a result of detailed discussions, deliberations and planning spreading over a period of almost two years between sports professionals and former Olympians, Arjun and Dhyanchand Awardees, Captain of Indian Men and Women Teams, international and national player and other stake holders of sports industry.
Amongst the packed audience at Deputy Speaker Hall, Constitutional Club, New Delhi, to grace the launch of BIPA were present Yogeshwar Dutt – Olympian Medalist Wrestling 2012 (Chief Guest), Gian Sherawat Singh – Olympian 1984, Ajmer Singh – Arjun Awardee, Olympian Basketball-1980, Hanuman Singh - Arjun Awardee, Olympian Basketball – 1980, Zorawar Singh - Olympian Basketball – 1980, T.S.Sandhu - Olympian – 1980, Gajendra Singh – Member of Parliament and President BIPA, Ram Kumar – Dhyanchand, Former Captain Indian Men Team, Secretary General BIPA, Divya Singh, Former Captain Indian Women Team, Treasurer BIPA and many more who were duly facilitated on the occasion and committed themselves to passionately pursue the vision, mission and objectives of BIPA.
The vision, mission and objectives of BIPA was express, clear and were spelled out to provide BIPA members:
• Lifelong security
• Medical Coverage
• Tickets to events
• Pensions benefits
• Enhance and defend the image of players and the profession
• Represent and protect the rights of the players on all forums
Additional benefits that the players will get from BIPA were expressed as:
• Effectively market Players to leagues and international teams.
• Help players for overseas opportunities.
• Protect the player's contractual rights and other rights under agreements
• Find a team, club, academy, agent and provide support in player trading
• Help the player maximize income from endorsements, commercials, autographs and appearances
• Advice player on his or her personal conduct and relationship with the media.
• Refer the player to medical specialists and treatment facilities as and when required
• Serve as a buffer between the player and their team when any issue arises
• Mentor players and be a positive influence for them
• Be available to a player's family to discuss any questions or concerns.
The goals of BIPA is clearly to uplift basketball and it's players in India by:
• Bringing a corporate structure to Basketball in India
• Bring benefits directly to the Players
• Launch bigger, better and more popular events
• Share profits with all the players
• Enhance value and worthiness of players within the society
• Empower every Basketball player as the sport grows
• Promote national icons on international level to help them get their due
• Make parents want their kids to play and be professional player
• Enthuse kids to play and take up basketball as profession
• BIPA Membership will be exclusively for players and basketball stakeholder
The Incorporation and launch of BIPA is unique and significant because of the following amongst many other reasons
• BIPA is the first Sports Association in the country in which all the promoters are basketball players
• BIPA is the first Sports Association in the country in which all the office bearers are national and international basketball players
• BIPA is the one of the largest players association in the country and possibly in the world with about 2,800 members who are basketball players, coaches, referees, ground officials, physiotherapists, dietitians, and other stakeholders and the membership is likely to increase to 20,000 by the end of the year
• BIPA is making efforts to be founder member of World Basketball Players Association and World Players Association
One thought and notion was made clear, express and unambiguous by all the speakers that there is no conflict of interest of BIPA with any Federation or Association as their objective was to promote basketball which was also the objective of Olympianism and FIBA. The benefit of the activities carries out by BIPA will go to each player who will continue to play official tournaments held by Federation and Associations. The ultimate benefit of empowerment of players will go to the nation to win medals and accolades and glorification of the game.