Table Tennis Legend Sharath Kamal visits MAHE, interacts with students as Paris 2024 flag-bearer

01:46 PM Jun 07, 2024 | Press Release |

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) was thrilled to host the visit of Padma Shri Sharath Kamal, a celebrated Indian table tennis icon. Currently ranked world No. 34 in table tennis, Sharath Kamal is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and the proud recipient of prestigious awards, including the Padma Shri, Khel Ratna, and Arjuna Award. His association with the Pro TT League in India and his connections with the Reliance family, who own the league, have solidified his status as a household name in Indian table tennis. He also competes in the French league and maintains significant ties with table tennis leagues globally.


During his visit, Sharath Kamal served as a great ambassador for the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), forging connections between the university and the sports industry. His involvement is expected to pave the way for the establishment of a high-performance center at the existing Marina facility and foster partnerships with corporates to benefit MAHE students through internships and job opportunities.

Sharath Kamal expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “I am truly honoured to visit Manipal Academy of Higher Education and witness the incredible strides they have made in education and sports. My goal is to inspire students and create pathways for them to excel both academically and athletically. The prospect of establishing a high-performance center here is an exciting one, and I look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration.”

Accompanying Sharath Kamal was his strength and conditioning trainer, Mr. Manav Mukund, who trains students of Sharath Kamal, currently playing in the French minor table tennis league. Manav Mukund, associated with Sports Dimensions, has been instrumental in setting up the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. Mr. Mukund shared his excitement about the visit, stating, “Partnering with MAHE presents a unique opportunity to enhance the sports infrastructure and provide world-class training to aspiring athletes. I am eager to share my experiences and contribute to the development of future champions from this esteemed institution.”
The visit was graced by Lt. Gen. (Dr) M. D. Venkatesh, VSM (Retd) Vice Chancellor of MAHE; Dr H.S. Ballal, Pro Chancellor of MAHE; Dr Sharath Rao, Pro Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences; Dr. Narayana Sabhahit, Pro Vice Chancellor -Technology & Science; Dr. N N Sharma, Pro Vice Chancellor – Strategy & Planning; and Dr Vinod Nayak, Secretary of the Sports Council.

Lt. Gen. (Dr) M. D. Venkatesh expressed his happiness at having Sharath Kamal on the MAHE campus, stating, “We are privileged to welcome a sports legend like Sharath Kamal to our institution. His visit is a source of great inspiration for our students and faculty alike, and we look forward to many collaborative initiatives that will benefit our sports programs.”


Dr H.S. Ballal, Pro Chancellor Manipal Academy of Higher Education, remarked, “We are delighted to have welcomed Sharath Kamal and Mr Manav Mukund to our campus. Their expertise and vision align perfectly with our mission to provide holistic education and top-tier opportunities for our students. This visit marks a significant step towards strengthening our sports programs and fostering industry connections. It is also a moment of immense pride for us as Sharath Kamal, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion and Khel Ratna awardee, has been named India’s flag-bearer for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). On behalf of MAHE, I wish the Indian Olympic team the very best of luck.”

Dr Arun Maiya, Dean of the Manipal College of Health Professions (MCHP), spoke on the role of MCHP in enhancing sports education, elaborating, “MCHP is dedicated to integrating sports education into our curriculum to develop well-rounded athletes and professionals. This visit by Sharath Kamal underscores our commitment to advancing sports sciences and education.”

Dr Sandeep S Shenoy, Professor & Head of the Department of Commerce at MAHE, spoke about the introduction of new courses, including a Master of Sports program at the Department of Commerce, elaborating, “We are excited to have a Master of Sports program, which aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the sports industry. This initiative is part of our broader effort to expand our academic offerings and provide more opportunities for our students.”

Mr Sukavaneshwar, a former international basketball player, was also present at the event. He expressed his vision for MAHE, stating, “Manipal has all the capabilities to become the sports medicine hub of Asia. With its state-of-the-art infrastructure and commitment to excellence in education and sports, MAHE is well-positioned to lead in this field. I am confident that with the right support and initiatives, we can make this vision a reality.”

During the visit, Sharath Kamal also interacted with MAHE students, sharing his experiences and inspiring them with his journey and achievements. Their visit aimed to explore opportunities for MAHE to enhance its sports infrastructure and connect students with leading corporates, ensuring a robust platform for internships and career advancements.



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