Kolkata: Kolkata has always been a passionate city. Having born and brought up here, I’ve seen enthusiasm and passion for almost everything, ranging from politics to sports. To talk particularly of sports, people have always come out in huge numbers to support their favourite teams and many even spend their evenings in tea-stalls, arguing over controversial decisions and outcomes of high-octane clashes between their favourite teams.
Recently, the turnout at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan during the FIFA U-17 World Cup left everyone surprised. Despite India not making it past the group stages or even playing a game in the city, the people have turned up in thousands to cheer for their favourite teams. As a result of this enthusiasm and support, the Indian Super League final, which was earlier scheduled to be played in Kochi would now be played in front a packed and a loud crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Such enthusiasm, such passion- the people here deserve a magazine to fulfill their sports appetite, right?
It is here that the introduction of a new magazine named, “Inside Sports” turns out to be important for the people. It’s editor, Mr. Sandip Dey, in an interaction with SportsCrunch said that his primary focus would be on district sports.
He said, “West Bengal doesn’t have a sports magazine as such at the moment. My plan is to incorporate not only football and cricket but also district-level sports like athletics and volleyball, and my aim is to come up with all-inclusive sports magazine.”
“District news is a must and then there would be other stories as well. See, there would be stories on the Indian Super League and the I-League but I would dedicate 10-12 pages out of the total 68, for the sports news of the 23 districts in the state. My plan is make it a complete sports magazine,” he added.
In this era of digitalisation and technological progress, the concept of online news has seen a huge rise but Dey believes that magazines provide a greater amount of space for elaborate articles, which many people still cherish reading.
A convinced Dey said, “The reason I’ve come up with a magazine and not a web portal is because of the fact that although people have started using smartphones even in the villages and other surrounding areas, the concept of newspapers and magazines haven’t died out yet. In case of a web-portal, the main thing that’s seen in the hard news, perhaps a 100-word copy and that’s it. In case of a magazine, it gives the audience a scope to read something more elaborately and in greater detail. I’ve had distributors who have told me that this would be success if I could pull it off. Already the feedback I’ve received is good, as people are enquiring as to how to subscribe to this and where this is available.”
He further added, “There’s this group of people who love to read these elaborate pieces. But I know that in order to reach out to a greater audience, I must market my magazine nicely. There are 184 clubs under the affiliation of the Indian Football Association (IFA), and then there’s 121 under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and I must make sure that my magazine reaches out to all these clubs and in this way, I would get my publication circulated.”
An issue of ‘Inside Sports’ has been printed and circulated and it has invited a heartening response, Dey said. But the good work must carry on and opening up on the November issue, he said, “I want to include all sports. We know that the ISL is beginning from November 17 and the I-League too is slated to begin sometime during the end of the month. So, the cover story for the November issue would be ‘ISL vs I-League.’ This issue would have stories from all the districts and would have a story on former Olympian Badri Bannerjee. There would be stories on women’s football, athletics, volleyball, yoga and all other kinds of sports.”
Much like the success of the U-17 World Cup, we at SportsCrunch hope that this new publication turns out to be bigger and better with every edition and Dey’s goal of bringing local sporting heroes to the fore is ultimately fulfilled.