It’s not often you see a 17-year-old take on the responsibility of establishing an official supporters club. But Abinav Karthik dared to be different, starting an Official Chelsea Supporters Club in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu.
Abinav had his first experience with Chelsea when he watched the Blues pull off an incredible comeback in 2018.
'I remember the first Chelsea game I watched was a 3-2 win over Southampton in the 2017-18 season,' he recalls.
'We were trailing 2-0 in the 69th minute, before Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud stepped up, willing us towards the three points. That’s when I decided to start supporting Chelsea!'
Abinav soon took his support and love for Chelsea to another level when he laid the foundations for an Official Supporters Club, although that wasn’t his first step.
'In 2019, I had the idea of starting a Chelsea fan page on Instagram,' he says. 'Two of my friends and my sister helped me in managing it. We started posting matchday creatives, player posters and so on.'
Following the start of the Chelsea fan page, Abinav thought about starting a supporters club in his region.
'I always wanted to start a supporters club,' he admits. 'I quickly realised there were no supporters clubs in my region on the 5th Stand app. However, I wasn’t aware of the process to start an Official Supporters Club.
'So one day, when I saw Chelsea’s Instagram post about Official Supporters Clubs, I followed the instructions, founded the club in Tiruppur and got it registered on 30 May last year.
'I wanted to help increase Chelsea’s following in my region and work towards building a community around Chelsea in Tiruppur. When we registered, there were just 20 of us in the supporters club. I’m really happy to share that we are now standing at 222 officially registered members!'
With the Tiruppur Supporters Club being in its early stages of inception back then, Abinav also reached out to Chelsea India, and subsequently merged with them, forming CISC Tiruppur.
Abinav then shared with us how they engage with Chelsea supporters from all over the world.
'After merging with Chelsea India, we also had a chat with Chelsea Zimbabwe Supporters Club this year on social media, discussing transfer rumours, possible signings, the season ahead, and so on,' he explains.
'It was a great experience connecting with fellow Blues from around the world.'
Abinav also outlines the future plans he has for CISC Tiruppur, particularly the group's efforts to help community projects.
'Our first and foremost plan is to help the community we are a part of,' he adds. 'We plan to donate money and food to the roadside people, and make their lives easier.
'We also have plans to start an academy for the underprivileged people who wish to play football. By providing them with facilities and opportunities to play, we want to help improve their life and careers.'
We wish Abinav, and his team at CISC Tiruppur, the very best in their future endeavours.