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Delhi's first Social Sports League to be launched on March 5
Ishveen Jolly, a sports-lover and CEO of Auxus Strategic solutions, moved to India as an expat in 2009 and found it very difficult to play sports and meet like-minded people. She told this citizen journalist that she felt the need for a sporting league, which would help people interact with one another and play sports as well. It is at this juncture, she founded the Social Sports League in New Delhi, where sports lovers can play and meet.

The League is set to be launched on 5th March 2013 in New Delhi with two sports, Football and Lawn Tennis. Ishveen spoke about her life in Delhi, “Apart from nightclubs, there was very little opportunity to interact. I had played in leagues like these in England and thus knew this was something I wanted to do.”

With both the games scheduled to be played during the night, she expects a number of participants in the league. Some have already confirmed their registration as well. Ilan Bhatia, one of the organisers of the league said, “Two teams from the French Embassy have already confirmed their participation in football.”

The League is going to take place throughout the year stretching for five weeks at a time. The six-a-side football matches and the Tennis matches are going to take place every Tuesdays in a span of five weeks. After which they would take a two-week break from the league and then it would again restart. People of different ages are getting together to participate in the league. For Tennis, players are going to score points in terms of their wins in the League.

In football, rolling substitutions are going to be used, so each team should comprise of 8 players. Those who are not able to make a team on their own, it is the orgainsers who will help them in finding one, so they can sign in independently. Those individuals who are keen to participate in the league needs to empty their pockets by Rs. 2500.

Ishveen said, “The response has been great overall, especially for Tennis. we anticipate a lot more sign ups as individuals in Season 2.” As of now, they just have two sports, but they have plans to make this league a bigger one for the future. She further added, “We want to increase the number of sports and the number of locations in India. We see huge potential and want to cater for all sports lovers and socialisers all over India.”

The orgainsers have come up with a wonderful website, which has two appealing black and white images of Lawn Tennis match and footballer on a street. But what attracts even more is the line which read at the top of the site – Delhi's first fun and Professional sports League. One would be intrigued to know as to how would they fine tune between fun and play. Bhatia explain it aptly,

For the first four Tuesdays, after the matches, we are going to take the players to Underdog's, a well known sports bar in Delhi. The participants would be provided free bottle of beer and can also avail special discounted food offers. Two pool tables would be also be provided to players.” On the same lines, Ishveen said, “Our whole motto is that the league is here to meet new people and have fun on and off the field. This is a big deal in the West and we want to bring this to India. For us, the taking part is as important as post-match analysis over a beer.

But, it was not all rosy scenes when they thought of initiating this League, as they faced some problems as well. “Lighting was a big issue. We found most grounds in Delhi did not have lighting facilities and those that did (the CWG venues) were fairly unhelpful,” said Ishveen. So it became imperative for them to find a venue, which had excellent sporting facilities apart from being floodlit.

Thus, they decided to go for Kathuria Public School ground, Vasant Kunj. Explaining, why they preferred this venue, she said, “This is a very popular venue for sporting events – there is a football ground for which, we are providing lights for and tennis courts that are already floodlit. There is also ample parking and changing facilities. We did look at other venues but this came out to be the best available.”

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