Soon after Sumit Nagal shared his financial struggle in an interview with the PTI, support began to pour in for India’s top tennis player with leading beverage company PepsiCo India and the DLTA rushing to his aid. The Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) has decided to release a one-time support of Rs 5 lakh while PepsiCo has also pledged to support Nagal for three years. “We have taken details from Sumit Nagal and Rs 5 lakh will be deposited in his account. DLTA President Rohit Rajpal has approved the support,” DLTA administrator Ranbir Chauhan said.
Nagal had claimed in an interview with PTI that his annual budget to survive on the ATP Tour is no less than Rs one crore and after arranging for his funds, he was left with just 900 Euros in his account.
“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros (approx Rs 80,000). I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told PTI in an interview.
Rajpal said, “He deserves much more. Sports people have to be treated like national assets. They needed to be taken care of. Tennis is a brutal and tough game. It requires travel on weekly basis, that makes it tough. We are talking to other sponsors and have already requested the sports ministry for help.”
Meanwhile, Ankit Agarwal, Associate Director, Energy & Hydration, PepsiCo India said, “Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine.”
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad. We wish him the best as he represents the nation, and we hope to empower the next generation of athletes with this association as they continue to pursue their dreams.”
Nagal said, “I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognised and appreciated.”