|Bhaichung Bhutia in his gym in Gangtok|
Indian football’s pin-up boy Bhaichung Bhutia kicked off his second venture as entrepreneur this month when he opened a fitness studio in his hometown Gangtok.
The studio has been named BB15, derived from the initials and the jersey number of the Sikkimese sniper.
And this, he promises, is the first of a chain.
“This venture has been on my mind for a year,” Bhaichung, the founder and co-owner of United Sikkim FC , said over phone from Gangtok.
“Fitness has been important to me throughout my football career and I want the culture to spread across all strata of society. If parents are health-conscious they would encourage their children to take up sports as well.”
This, Bhaichung says, is the first studio of its kind in the Northeast, with all its equipment coming from Technogym, the official fitness equipment supplier at London Olympics.
Spread across 3,000sq ft, the studio was inaugurated by Olympian archer Tarundeep Rai.
While his own team would train there, he plans to offer free membership to all Indian sportspersons who have represented the country at the international level.
“Other than the cricketers, no one gets top-class infrastructure for training,” he said. Individuals have to shell out Rs 4,000 per month while couples get a monthly package deal of Rs 7,000.
The former India skipper who used to train for three hours daily during his playing days still sweats it out regularly.
“Most of my time goes behind my team. Still I spend an hour either in the gym or in the field six days a week. Madhuri (his wife) is a fitness freak too and has started using the gym,” he says.
He wants BB15 to spread wings across eastern India. Yes, Calcutta is very much on his radar.