Kotak Mahindra Bank Collaborates with Inspire Institute of Sport for Kotak’s CSR Project on Sports


Mumbai: In its quest to keep the Indian flag flying high at international sporting competitions, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL/Kotak) announced its collaboration with the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) to implement its CSR Project on Sports. KMBL-IIS CSR partnership is a joint endeavour to help fulfil the dreams and aspirations of budding wrestling and boxing athletes from across Indian geographies, irrespective of their socioeconomic strata, gender, race or religion.

The idea behind KMBL’s CSR partnership with IIS is to support athletes who have skills but they or their parents may not have the requisite means to pay for their coaching and training. KMBL’s CSR Project fully funds the coaching and training of wrestling and boxing athletes.

The ‘Kotak Karma Contact Sports Centre’ is a state-of-the-art training facility at the IIS campus in Bellary, Karnataka, comprising of a 62mx62m column-free indoor training centre that offers world-class infrastructure, technical training and sports science support to accomplished as well as promising junior and senior Indian wrestling and boxing athletes. The holistic development of residential athletes at the Centre covers academic support, nutrition and psychology, leadership and vocational training.

Rohit Rao, Joint President & Group CSR Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, said, “Kotak’s CSR Project on Sports with IIS provides international-class coaching and training to accomplished as well as promising junior and senior Indian wrestling and boxing athletes. Kotak’s CSR Project is an effort to create tomorrow’s world champions and also includes providing education and life skills programmes to empower the athletes to make them good citizens of India.”

Rushdee Warley, CEO, Inspire Institute of Sport, said, “India has a strong history and tradition of success in Contact Sports, with the country already having won multiple Olympic and World Championship medals in boxing and wrestling. At IIS, we are aiming to provide talented Indian athletes with a world-class daily training environment through a structured program focusing on the holistic development of the athletes. In Kotak Mahindra Bank, we are pleased to find a partner who believes in our vision of nurturing Champions, inside and outside their fields of play.”

Kotak Karma is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) identity of the Kotak Mahindra Group. At Kotak Karma Contact Sports Centre, 100 wrestling and boxing athletes are undergoing training. Of these, 48 athletes are being trained for boxing (19 female, 29 male) and 52 athletes are being trained for wrestling (28 female, 24 male).

The key coaches and support staff for Kotak’s CSR Project on Sports at IIS are as follows:

  • Rushdee Warley (South Africa), Chief Executive Officer, IIS. Rushdee is a specialist in high-performance training with more than 25 years of experience in talent identification and athlete development in South Africa, New Zealand and India.
  • Ronald Simms Jr. (USA) is the Head Coach for Boxing. Ronald is a qualified USA Boxing Level IV certified coach with an AIBA 3 Star Certification and has coached some of India’s top elite boxers.
  • John Warburton (UK) is the Head of Youth Boxing. John holds an MSc in Sports Coaching from John Moores University and is a former Talent Development Coach at England Boxing
  • Aamir Tavakolian (Iran) is the Head Coach for Men’s Wrestling. Aamir is an Olympian, a multiple-time Asian Champion and former Head Coach of the Iran National Youth Team. He has over 15 years of coaching experience with elite and junior wrestlers.
  • Yandro Quintana (Cuba) is the Head Coach for Women’s Wrestling. Yandro is the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Men’s Freestyle Wrestling 60kg weight class.
  • Spencer Mackay (Scotland) is the Head of Strength & Conditioning for all sports training at IIS. Spencer has worked extensively with some of India’s top wrestlers and boxers over the past five years and leads IIS’ focus on scientific and evidence-based training for athletes. Spencer has previous experience with the Scotland Women’s Rugby team and the National Age Grade Programme.
  • Dhananjay Kaushik (India) is the Head of Physiotherapy for all sports training at IIS. He is a USA-licensed physical therapist and has had multiple research articles published. Dhananjay has worked with top Indian and international athletes in sports including Boxing, Shooting, Athletics and Cricket.