Rangasala Blog achieved its 2nd anniversary last month. To celebrate I’ve written a special post about how Nepali sports have impacted my life. Enjoy!
I remember once visiting Ramailo Sports Club, a club based in a far flung village in Morang district. They were the DISTRICT FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS, but the club had no more than two or three footballs, which were all quite old and worn-out. Half their players did not have football boots, their coach had never seen a football instructional book or video in his life and their uniforms were basically the bibs that the District Football Association would loan them on match days.
I wrote articles for FIFA, AFC, FourFourTwo magazine and assisted several sports TV programs. Machhindra Club brought me on as an advisor to their Executive Board and I helped them find sponsors and develop their marketing.
I’ve been involved in Nepali sports for around 14 years and it’s been absolutely amazing!
To make a very long story short – living in the
I was starved for Nepali football news and presumed there were many people like me out there, so in 1997, as a freshman in college, I created a website dedicated to Nepali soccer called Nepal Football Homepage. USA
Through Nepal Football Homepage I developed links with many people in the international and domestic sports sector. One thing led to another and for the next 14 years I’ve been actively developing, covering, and following sports in
and it’s been a phenomenal experience in so many ways. Nepal
Having been raised in the
USA for the majority of my life Nepal basically meant Kathmandu and the only Nepalis I knew were my relatives. That has all changed now.
Through my involvement in Nepali sports I’ve gotten to know so many people I would never have – athletes, businessmen, journalists, sports officials and most importantly – sports fans!
I’ve had the good fortune to travel to many corners of this gorgeous country and experience its rich cultures and customs. I probably now know
a lot better than many Nepalis do! Nepal
Making a difference
When your relatives are stuffing you with food every chance they get and you encounter so many smiling faces on the roads of Kathmandu often the depth of poverty in
is not glaringly apparent. Through my experiences in Nepali sports I’ve come to realize that acquiring just a single ball, a single boot, a coaching manual or a copy of a rulebook is actually quite a big deal to many. Nepal
|Donating equipment to a girls team in Urlabari, Morang|
With the help of friends and acquaintances and for an amount that is probably less than what I spend on junk food every year, I’ve been privileged enough to able to donate sports equipment and materials, organize workshops and offer guidance to various sports enthusiasts and entities in Nepal. The projects I’ve assisted on have given sporting opportunities to many youths and helped develop players, coaches, officials, clubs and sports associations, including several that have gone on to make a mark on the national and international stage.
Through sports I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of
. I’ve had many wonderful encounters and met some amazing people. I’ve also been cheated, robbed, tricked, misled, used, abused, taken advantage of. I’ve been embroiled, front and center, in messy sports politics and have had to navigate many roadblocks and unnecessary hassles even for the most trivial things. Nepal
It has been fulfilling and frustrating, thrilling and at points blood boiling. The experiences have helped me understand
better – how things work in the country and why things don’t work in the country. Three years and no national constitution in sight – it makes sense to me now. Nepal
Friends for life
After working 14 years in a field, undoubtedly you make quite a few friends. I’ve now got Nepali sports buddies from Mechi to Mahakali – well at least up to Seti Zone (Dhangadhi), and internationally from
Milan to . They include some of my best friends today and my business partners, all of whom I met as a result of my involvement in Nepali sports. Malaysia
It’s pretty surreal to know that in over 30 different districts in
I’d probably have at least one sports related friend that I would be able to sit down and have a cup of tea with. One time when I travelled from Biratnagar to Bagdogra Airport in Darjeeling I stopped at 7 different points (Duhabi, Itahari, Patri, Urlabari, Birtamod, Dhulabari, Kakarbhitta) to meet the many friends I had all along that route. The 140 kilometer journey took over 8 hours and I nearly missed my flight home! Nepal
Nepali sports opened a lot of doors for me. As Nepal Football Homepage was the first Nepali football website, many international media were quick to contact me when needing information on Nepali soccer. I started developing a significant network of sports industry professionals from around the globe.
|Meeting with NPC officials at AFC House|
I leveraged all this experience and was admitted into the FIFA Master program and then was hired by the Asian Football Confederation as a Development Officer. Now I’m in
running my own company that develops sports related web applications. Hyderabad
Fun! Fun! Fun!
Being involved in Nepali sports has been fun. I’ve watched Nepali teams and athletes play in
Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and . I’ve gone on excursions all across Singapore . I’ve been invited into many homes and been able to taste all sorts of cuisine (Jhapali wild boar being my favorite! Thank you Pankaj dai!). Nepal
I’ve also had many interesting conversations, heart warming interactions, and yes, even a couple of very wild nights.
Nepali sports have been awesome to me and I would encourage anyone that is passionate about sport to get involved. Certainly there are many challenges and undoubtedly you’ll encounter many bumps on the road – that’s just a part of life in
these days. Take it all in stride and be persistent and through Nepali sports you are sure to have many memorable experiences, meet some wonderful people, make a positive difference and have loads of fun along the way. Nepal