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  • Imran Nadaph

Charting the Path to Excellence: Applications open for the 5th High Performance Leadership Program

Imran Nadaph, Vice President for High Performance Sports at ELMS Sports Foundation, celebrates the milestone 5th Edition of the High Performance Leadership Program in this editorial. The program, in collaboration with Loughborough University and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, empowers India's sports administrators, managers, coaches, and sports science professionals. The article highlights the strength of the program and the diversity of its alumni community, showcases the benefits of bringing stakeholders from different roles and organizations together, and provides an overview of the curriculum's modules and topics covered.

ELMS Sports Foundation, dedicated to enhancing the professional development of sports professionals in India, offers the High Performance Leadership Program as well as the High Performance Coach Development Program.


India has always aspired to stand out on the world stage in the vast world of sports, where dedication and passion combine to fuel dreams. Indian athletes have excelled in a number of sports over the years, showcasing their talent and potential. However, in order to truly succeed and compete on a global scale, we do acknowledge the necessity of empowering our sports leaders to ensure long-term success. By launching the High Performance Leadership Program in July 2020, the ELMS Sports Foundation, in association with Loughborough University in the UK, and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, set out on a ground-breaking mission to empower India's sports administrators, managers, coaches, and sports science professionals.

Three years later, as we open up applications for the 5th Edition of this High Performance Leadership Program, it is a significant occasion for the ELMS Sports Foundation, Loughborough University, and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation. This unique program, designed to develop leadership and management capabilities in high-performance sport, has proven to be a game-changer. With each passing edition, we have witnessed a transformative impact on sports administrators, managers, coaches, and professionals in sports science. This editorial celebrates the achievements of the program and calls upon all passionate sports professionals to be part of our illustrious alumni community. To begin with, let's explore the unique features of the High Performance Leadership Program

Embracing the Digital Frontier: A Transformational Journey

The High Performance Leadership Program is a pioneering initiative designed to develop management and leadership capabilities in all areas of high-performance sport. Its modular design caters to the needs of working professionals leveraging the power of E-learning and online format. The format of the program presents a compelling case for the modern sports professional. As our participants are distributed across the vast expanse of India, it becomes essential to offer an accessible and flexible learning environment.

The online platform breaks geographical barriers, enabling sports professionals from different regions to come together and exchange ideas. Participants attend live online lectures, engage in group discussions, and work on individual and group projects. This creates a dynamic learning environment that promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing. This innovative approach enables participants to balance their existing commitments while acquiring new skills, making it an ideal choice for committed sports professionals seeking to elevate their leadership prowess.

The High Performance Leadership Program: A Proven Success

The success of the High Performance Leadership Program is evident from the high levels of satisfaction among participants. With an overall satisfaction rate of 85%, participants consistently rate their program experience as 'above expectation.' This reflects the program's ability to meet the needs and expectations of sports professionals across different roles and responsibilities.

Furthermore, the program boasts an impressive completion rate of above 75%. This exceptional completion rate is a testament to the program's engaging and impactful curriculum, as well as the dedication of our participants.

Since its inception, and over the course of the past 4 editions, The High Performance Leadership Program has delivered a comprehensive learning experience, encompassing over 1000 hours of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Each edition offers the participants an opportunity to delve deep into the key areas of high-performance leadership and management through a combination real time interaction via live online lectures, group research projects and opportunities for learning at their own pace through individual action learning projects, self paced quizzes and reflective learning through writing blogs/articles about their program experience. This extensive learning journey ensures that participants gain the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in their respective roles and contribute to the growth of Indian sport.

The Strength of our Alumni Community: Power in Diversity

Within a short span of 3 years, the High Performance Leadership Program has nurtured an extraordinary alumni community comprising over 150 sports professionals from diverse backgrounds and roles. This network represents the strength and potential of our program's impact. With alumni occupying crucial positions in sports organizations, their collective knowledge and experiences form an invaluable resource. The data below showcases the rich diversity and the distribution of our alumni across different roles and sports organizations:

Breakup of Alumni as per Different Roles

This diverse representation of roles enables cross-learning and promotes a holistic understanding of the sports ecosystem. Consider the benefits that emerge when a sports administrator interacts with a coach, or a journalist engages with a sports science professional. The understanding of challenges faced by others, the sharing of best practices, and the identification of synergies between different stakeholders all contribute to the growth of Indian sport as a whole. The power of this collaborative network has the potential to extend far beyond the program itself, creating a lasting impact on the development of a robust and interconnected sports ecosystem.

Breakup of Alumni According to the Different Types of Sports Organizations

The High Performance Leadership Program has also successfully engaged professionals from a wide range of sports organizations. Not-for-profit institutes, state sports departments, defense sports establishments, and sports academies are among the leading sectors represented in the alumni community. This varied representation reflects the program's commitment to cultivating leaders who can make meaningful contributions to the development of sports in India across different organizational contexts. The collaborative spirit among alumni from various types of organizations promotes the exchange of best practices, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Empowering the Participants across different roles and responsibilities

To a critical mind a question may arise - How can a single program benefit participants representing different roles and sports organizations, despite their diverse responsibilities?

To understand this, one must understand the curriculum design that is at the heart of this program. The High Performance Leadership Program has been thoughtfully designed to cater to participants from various roles and sports organizations, providing them with a unique and transformational learning experience. Let's explore how individuals in different profiles can benefit from being part of the same course:

Public sector Administrators:

  • The program equips administrators with leadership and management skills, enabling them to make effective decisions and optimize resources.

  • They gain insights into building a high-performance culture within their organizations, driving impactful participation in sports-related schemes and programs.

Head Coaches/Senior Coaches:

  • The program focuses on developing strategies for athlete preparation and competition, empowering coaches to enhance their coaching methodologies and create a performance-driven environment.

  • Participants gain valuable insights into managing other coaches and optimizing training and competition operations.

Senior positions within Sports Leagues and Competitions, private academies:

  • The program provides advanced management and leadership skills to drive growth and success in sports leagues and private academies.

  • Participants learn to maximize returns on investment for stakeholders, effectively managing and delivering sustainable performance outcomes on and off the field.

Sports Professionals working for Not-for-profit sports foundations:

  • The program offers valuable tools and insights to strengthen the operations of not-for-profit sports foundations.

  • Participants gain a deep understanding of sustainable growth strategies, enabling them to have a more significant impact on the development of sports in India.

Current/Ex-Elite Athletes:

  • The program serves as a bridge for athletes transitioning into sports administration roles.

  • It equips them with essential leadership and management skills, allowing them to contribute their unique perspective and experience to the sports ecosystem.

As you can see, regardless of the specific roles and responsibilities, every participant in the High Performance Leadership Program can benefit immensely from the diverse perspectives and knowledge-sharing opportunities available through this comprehensive course.


As we celebrate approaching the milestone of the 5th edition of the High Performance Leadership Program, we reflect on the journey that has empowered sports professionals across India. This landmark program, with its innovative program design and comprehensive curriculum, has reimagined the way we nurture leadership and management skills in high-performance sport. The strength and diversity of our alumni community, encompassing various roles and organizations, exemplify the lasting impact and enduring value of the program.

ELMS Sports Foundation, in collaboration with Loughborough University and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation, remains committed to its vision of developing a robust sports system that consistently produces world-class athletes across all disciplines. With each edition of the High Performance Leadership Program, we take a step closer to achieving this goal, as our alumni will continue to shape the future of Indian sports with their newfound knowledge, skills, and passion.

Join us in this transformative journey, and together, let us build a sporting legacy that inspires generations to come.

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