Neha D. Uberoi: An Organization for South Asians in Sport by South Asians in Sport

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Ladder works is a publishing platform for various picture books and online programs whose mission is to empower over one million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features our interplanetary journalist Spiffy’s interviews with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders advancing the UN SDGs.

Spiffy here with the inside scoop on planet earth’s business leaders. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I am delighted to present this galactic exclusive with Neha Uberoi, co-founder and CEO of South Asians in Sports. Let’s see what she does to make a positive impact in the world.

Nice : Hi Neha, thank you so much for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge do South Asians in sports face?

Neha: Thanks for inviting me, Spiffy! South Asians in Sports is an organization that brings together South Asians working in sports from around the world. Our mission is to educate, advocate and inspire South Asians to work in sport in any industry.

Nice : What motivated you to do it?

Neha: When my sister, Shikha and I were playing professional tennis, we didn’t see many South Asians working in the sport. I wanted to create something that would support and encourage my community to see sports as a great career option.

Nice : I like this! How would you say your organization works for a more equitable world?

Neha: We work to make sport a more equitable arena by drawing attention to the importance of the contribution of South Asians to all aspects of sport. We advocate for South Asians to speak at sports industry related events, encourage them to apply and be hired for sports employment opportunities. We connect them in sport to each other to support and help each other succeed in their respective careers. By bringing the South Asian sports community together, we create opportunities to advance our community in the world of sport.

Nice : Tell me about a recent milestone or initiative of the organization. What impact does it have?

Neha: In 2022, our network has grown to over 800 members, and our efforts to mentor, support and grow the number of South Asians working in sport have grown significantly. Recently, a new member shared that she started working in sports through our organization. She never believed she could because she was a girl. She now has a successful career with an agency managing the media presence of a top athlete.

Nice : Please share an experience where you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from this?

Neha: As the leader of a small but powerful organization, failure is part of my journey. As a professional athlete, I encountered setbacks almost every week. An example is when I lost in the final of a very big tennis tournament. I was extremely disappointed with my result. My opponent had exposed my weaknesses. When I was able to analyze what had happened, my coach and I came up with a plan. I worked for three months to improve my weaknesses and came back to beat my opponent hands down in the next tournament. It was empowering to overcome a difficult challenge and not succumb to fear and doubt.

Nice : What have you unexpectedly learned from someone recently?

Neha: I recently learned from my four year old daughter that rest is just as important as work. My daughter is teaching me to relish rest and relaxation so I can get back to work feeling refreshed and energized.

Nice : She’s onto something over there! Is there anything else you would like to tell our audience?

Neha: In my generation of South Asian Americans, many of us believed that our background was something we had to hide if we were to succeed. Now I am happy to hear that South Asians can see how their background/heritage is an asset to their success and a source of deep pride to show to the world.

Nice : Thanks for talking to me today, Neha, it was an honor!

Neha Devi Uberoi is a mental health professional, former professional tennis player and social entrepreneur. She is co-founder and CEO of South Asians in Sport, a non-profit organization that advocates, educates and promotes a network of over 800 South Asians working in sport globally. (Nominated by Shikha Tandon at SVEXA. First published on the Ladderworks website August 23, 2022.)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy artwork by Shreyas Navarre. For the Ladderworks Digital Curriculum to help children in K-3 advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy’s Corner here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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