Fine margins are the difference between winning and losing. There are lots of platforms that unlock the true value of official data, connecting the worlds of sport and statistics and news. There are thousands of online podcasts, Facebook groups, and websites that are created so you can bring sports fanatics closer to the action. WhatsApp groups are one of the most innovative online spaces where actual discussions are happening on any bastion. Sports and games are two among them.
The WhatsApp groups started for sports discussions are mostly for a particular sport. Why can’t there be a group where you can talk about any sport in the whole wide world? ‘Kalikkalam’ was formed with this motto.
“What is true nature of the statistics of Sachin Tendulkar's fourth innings' scores? How big is the fan base of Borussia Dortmund? If there is a fatal flaw to P. V. Sindhu's game, what is that? Whatever be the topic that is to be debated, the discussions on Kalikkalam are always heated. As the piping hot sulaimani served at your favourite wayside tea shack, you are sure to get addicted to them!” shares Biju K.B., who works in a bank, one of the founder members of the group.
Unlike other groups which focus on popular sports like cricket and football, Kalikkalam, which has over 250 members, caters to all practised sports known to people in our side of the world. The discussions, further, are strictly restricted to sports. “We don’t actually welcome normal chit chats between the group members and purely concentrates on sports info and news.” The group has members, all of them Malayalis, from Africa to Lakshadweep.
Apart from discussions, the group also spanned its works from the virtual world and seen helping the school children at various parts of Ernakulam district during the post-flood times. “As the state was struggling during the rehab activities, we provided bags, books and other materials to school children who are from the affected areas. We crowdfunded a certain amount of cash and spent it for the purpose,” added Biju.
The group also takes initiatives like helping injured athletes and sportspersons, and is looking for any financial and other aids.
“Community bonding is a rage these days, and gatherings of people inhabiting various online communities are a frequently spotted practice as well. If such events are mostly prompted by a nostalgic connection hatched out to the past, the WhatsApp group called Kalikkalam is conspicuous by the absent algorithm of any such shared nostalgia. The first gathering of its members, who are simply lovers of sports in general, was held at Jojo Football Arena in Kadavanthra last week. They spent the larger part of the day playing football and cricket. Diehard fans of Messi and Ronaldo, who have been at each other's throats in their virtual debates about the playing styles of their icons, hugged like long-lost buddies when they met for the first time,” he added.
Well-known sports commentator Shyju Damodaran and volleyball star player Tom Joseph are members of this group.
The group is planning to conduct more projects like distributing sports kits in schools for young children and introducing them to sports. “At the moment, we are concentrating on football and volleyball. We have already distributed some kits and have plans to make the project wider.”...