After we’ve introduced the China Fan Club, we will stay in Asia to meet the biggest fan group from India, with more than 40,000 followers, the Novak India Fans. What makes this group unique and different from the previous ones, is the fact that it is run by one person only, a 19-year-old Priyanka who founded the fan club in 2012. Priyanka expresses her passion and love for tennis and Nole also by making videos about the champion from Serbia. The Novak India Fans YouTube channel is followed by over 4,000 fans from around the world. In our latest MeetNoleFam interview, we spoke to Priyanka about motivation, love, Novak and NoleFam.
India Fan Club Questions and NoleFam questions
1. You were 13 years old when you heard about Nole for the first time. Can you share with us how that experience inspired you to found and lead one of the most active fan clubs in the world?
Knowing his story and what he had overcome to reach this position was very inspiring for me. In 2011, the year when I heard about Nole for the first time, I had a very limited access to Internet. In 2012, I finally created this account and from there on, the journey began. The only aim to create this account was to give him back, to show him support and appreciation that whatever he is doing, on court and off court, is being appreciated by his fans in India also.
2. We’ve been following your activities on social media for 4 years and can tell that you are the biggest Fan Club in India and one of the most active clubs in the whole world. Can you choose that one thing that keeps you going on a daily basis?
The one thing that keeps me going on a daily basis is the ‘love’ that I feel for Nole. I became a Nole fan being inspired by his wins and his story, but as the time went by and as I got to know more about him, I not only became his true fan, but I also started to feel the same ‘love’ and ‘affection’ that I feel for any of my family members. Seeing him happy makes me happy.
3. From the experience that leaders of other fan clubs shared with us, we can see that it is not an easy job to run an active fan club and grow your following on a daily basis. There must be some help from the team. How many people are side by side with you in this project?
I am the only one who is running this fan club. I’m 19 and a biotechnology student. Apart from Nole, I am really passionate about photography.
4. There must be some unforgettable moments for you in these 4 years managing the Novak India Fans. Would you like to share the best one with us?
There are many. Of course, getting followed by Nole and Jelena on Twitter was really a big moment for me. When I made the first part of ‘Novak Djokovic – A Great Human Being’ and the reception that the video was met with NoleFam was phenomenal. Jelena shared that video link on her twitter and thanked me for making that video. It really meant a lot to me.
5. You focus on all the news regarding Nole but you’ve also done some great work with youtube videos for our Nole. Could you single out your favorite video? The one that is the biggest or the most emotional for you and your team?
My favorite video is ‘Novak Djokovic – Dream Come True’. This video shows how a boy coming from a war-torn country completes his dream of winning Wimbledon and establishes his place as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Editing that part, where Nole comes to meet Jelena Gencic after winning Wimbledon, was particularly very emotional for me. Maybe that’s the best tribute I can give to Jelena Gencic for everything that she has done for Nole.
6. What’s been the most impressive thing of running the fan club all these years?
The appreciation and the support that thousands of people from around the world show you is definitely one of the most impressive things. I never thought I would be running a fan club with a 30 thousand fans following and a website with over a million visitors. Of course, stats and numbers don’t matter to me. It’s the love and the appreciation that matters and that helps me to continue doing what I’m doing.
7. Could you share with us some of the best moments that happened whilst running the club?
As I said earlier, getting followed by Nole and Jelena on Twitter was really very special. During the IPTL 2014, when Novak came to India, there was a live twitter video Q & A interview organized by the tournament. Novak answered one of my questions and said ‘thank you and love you’. That’s definitely the best moment for me.
8. How does a regular day look from the perspective of the Fan Club? And how does it compare to a match day of Novak’s?
It differs significantly. On a regular day, you can just post a picture, do a little throwback, post stats or something like that. But, on a match day – from posting match timings to match results, there is a big process. You have lots of people texting you on Facebook, asking for a live stream or match scores. You have to be very active.
9. If you had to describe NoleFam in 5 words, which ones would you choose?
Loving, Strong, Beautiful, United and Loyal.
10. What’s the most precious NoleFam moment or memory you remember? And why is it so precious?
A few years ago, I uploaded a video on YouTube about some of Nole’s career achievements (unfortunately, that video is no longer available on YouTube because of copyright issues), and apparently a small group of Federer fans was offended by it and they started attacking me. I remember how NoleFam defended me, showed me their support and asked me to continue uploading my videos.
This is the most beautiful thing about NoleFam. Their support is unreal. They stand by you just like how a real family would. We are maybe divided by countries but the love and passion that we share for Nole, unites us.
11. You are in close contact with many fans of Novak on social media, what’s the main topic of interest around #NoleFam?
Definitely, it’s about Novak’s matches, when he plays next, at what tournament he plays next. They are also very interested to know about his foundation, his family and what he does off court.
12. If you have an opportunity to organize a #NoleFam meet-up for all fans, where would it be held and what would it look like? What would be the highlights?
On Kopaonik mountain. Because that’s the place where Nole hit a tennis ball for the very first time. Kopaonik holds a very special place in our hearts. As Kopaonik is considered as the ‘ski resort’ in Serbia, I would like to gather all the fans there and maybe Nole can join us and become our ski instructor and give us some skiing lessons.
Novak related questions
13. What made you decide to support Novak?
On July 3, 2011, – Novak won the Wimbledon for the first time and completed his childhood dream. The next day, he was on front page of my newspaper and that’s when I heard his name for the first time. I read his story and was inspired and motivated by all the things and struggles he had to overcome in order to realize his childhood dream. From that day, I have been following him very closely, on court or off court, and have watched almost his every match.
14. Which is your favourite match Novak has played in?
The 2015 US Open final. What mental toughness Novak showed that day. How did he overcome a crowd of 24,000 people? I mean, that was ridiculous. I can tell you from my experience, that it’s very difficult to do something when people around you are screaming, whistling and completely trying to distract you. What Novak did that day was exceptional. He took his champion’s statue to another level after that match.
15. Which is your favorite trophy Nole won?
Undoubtedly, the 2016 French Open. It felt like everything was thrown at him at that tournament. He not only had to overcome seven different opponents, but also the weather, the hype and the pressure. After reading Carole Bouchard’s book ‘The Quest’, I came to know that Nole was even carrying an injury. And he overcame everything like a great brave warrior.
I can’t describe the joy and pride that I felt when Novak finally lifted that trophy. It’s a moment that I will always cherish.
16. What do you like the most about Nole? (his character, his temper, the values he stands for, anything concerning his look maybe)
I like everything about Nole. His character, his temper, his nature, the charisma that he brings on and off the court and his looks (of course!) ☺. But the one thing that really stands out for me is the value that he stands for. I remember how he helped his countrymen, who were trapped in snow storm in Northern Serbia in 2014. How he raised awareness about the Balkan floods, how he celebrated his French Open triumph with the ball kids, how he greets his opponents at net after every match. It really takes a big heart to do this kind of things. I’m really proud to call Nole as my idol. He is an example for everyone. Every day he tries to make a difference in this society, in this world.
17. Do you have any cheering ritual(s)? If yes, could you share it with other fans? (A photo or video would be awesome) :)
I sit on the floor with my laptop every time when I’m watching Nole. Hehe. Of course, I know that it may sound weird but that’s the one thing I have been doing since 2012.
18. What is your favorite photo of Novak, if you could choose one? :)
19. Novak and Jelena have devoted themselves to philanthropy, especially for children’s early education here in Serbia. How do you see their work from your perspective?
It’s really inspiring. Children are the future of every nation. Investing in their education is investing in the betterment of society. Everyone must take inspiration from Novak and Jelena’s work.
20. Novak Djokovic Foundation has launched many different projects so far, which is the most impressive one for fans that are gathered around fan club in India?
Schools of Life. As I said in my previous answer, children are the future of every nation. With this project, NDF is not only providing children with the most important thing – education, but is also providing a great environment for them to grow and eventually become great individuals.
Serbia Related Questions
21.Since the beginnings of the Fan Club you surely met many of Novak’s colleagues from Serbia. What is your impression of us? :)
I have found Serbian people to be quite similar to us. You guys are born fighters, hard working, very caring and sweet, and you all value your families, friends and culture very much. I have also noticed that you guys are very passionate about sports. I have interacted with many Serbian people since I have started running this fan club. They have been very nice to me. They have shared my work and have helped me to grow Novak India Fans’ fan following. I am really grateful to them. Many of them have become my good friends and we interact on a regular basis.
22. What are your TOP 5 suggestions and advice for all new fans that are becoming part of our huge Fan Family?
– Believe in Nole.
– Respect Nole and Jelena’s privacy.
– Tennis is a sport and winning and losing is a part of it. So you have to accept that Nole isn’t a ‘machine’ and he can lose sometimes.
– Don’t judge Nole on the basis of the media reports that are published on the Internet. There is a lot of negativity out there, so try to understand the situation/moment on a deeper level before making any judgement. Trust only reliable sources.
– Stay positive and spread positivity.
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