TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN media got the initiative to interact with an acknowledged personality, Mr. Henry Menze, Former Indian International footballer, Deputy Chairman. In the Investor Conclave organised by UKSL at VJTI on 31st January 2020 on “Manufacturing Opportunities & Challenges Sportswear & Activewear Industry in India” He shared an insight into his intuition concerning the future of Indian Textile Sportswear. In this Symposium he spoke about the significance and challenges concerning Textile Sports which he has apprehended articulately.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to be in this conclave and talk about the challenges on the sportswear and activewear. From this forum, I came to know how important sportswear is for the athletes. As we have been through a journey in our time from cotton and acrylic to lycra and polyester. It is very interesting to understand, in our time there was a lot of difficulties in sportswear because when we talk about cotton t-shirt the stretch was not there which lead to issue such as a tear of fabric at certain places. As we belong to the cotton dominant country, that was the only option we had.
Talking about acrylic fabric which has little bit of stiffness during stretching and as the athlete needs sportswear which is next to the skin to perform well and soon we came to know about polyester and lycra which were very beneficial for sports person because you see sportsperson like Ronaldo or Messi or Sunil Chettri in their era they have different types of materials coming in but today we will be talking about moisture which garment can absorb and expand and dry off faster making it comfortable for player to ace in the game. That is very interesting to see because for sportsmen it’s the microsecond that can get you world record or national record so that is very important and being a sportsperson myself, I was not very much aware of textile sports because that is where we lack today.
When we were playing in 1994,1996 and 2000, we were talking about Nike and Adidas and puma where we used to buy from outside and using here including shoes so being unaware thinking that top athletes wearing it not knowing scientific reason behind is where we need to work on it because just imagine if football players and athletes understand the scientific reason how good it would be if we could make a vast difference whether its shoes or sportswear and activewear.
Today we were talking about the population of India and 50% of population is below 25 years of age and if we look at 35 years old they are about 65% of the population that shows that young parents and youngsters and teen are into sports and entertainment which is going to be very massive for sportswear and business of sports and entertainment.
Talking about activewear, you could see so many parks full. The children are going in and their parents going in which shows that everybody is conscious of themselves. That’s the consciousness of people on fitness which is vital.
Today people know that polyester and lycra can expand and absorb moisture very quickly which could make the sportsmen feel comfortable and help him perform well. I feel today compression has become very important as every athlete wants its recovery to be fast so compression material is needed utmost. However, some people might complain compression to be too hard or they have some circulation problem or some sports don’t allow too much compression on your body so it has to have some scientific reason where how much compression has to be there.
Looking at the resources we have, it shows that India has got so much potential to get along and ace in it. It needs compassion and passion to put in and understand this business. I was very much impressed by reliance when they spoke about how they used CSR initiative in building up sports and started using fiber and making t-shirt it’s phenomenal when we talk about climatic condition and saving planet, it’s a perfect example. I feel that sportswear and sports business is not going to die because every day record-breaking stuff is happening and another thing is that India is growing in every sphere of sports, be it cricket, athletes or badminton we take part and make India proud. I believe there has to be more interaction between federation, association, athletes, and industry because the industry does not understand the demand sports textile has. I think that’s, where we need to point our direction because there is a lot of demand for activities. We need to grow and have the results of the textile industry who can make a mark in sports and activewear. I’ am sure such a forum where you get all industry coming in understand what end-users need today. I felt so much content that such forum goes on and people bring in awareness to use right kind of activewear and sportswear and to understand the importance of sportswear and activewear.