IOA, FICCI join hands to promote sports at grassroot level

As many as 37 State Olympic Associations and National Federations met to devise a mechanism to work in association with government to implement club games in village, ward and panchayat levels.

The games will begin in October this year at the village/panchayat level and in December it will be conducted at the state level. In February 2010 it will be organised at the zonal level, culminating at national level in May 2010.

IOA will provide the necessary support at state, zonal and national levels to organise the club games, while FICCI will financially support the IOA to mobilise corporate support and create awareness for the national club games.

Randhir Singh, Secretary General, IOA and member IOC, said we are creating the platform for states to promote sports at the lowest level. “Through this programme, we are targeting 8,00,000 clubs and six crore people would be directly participating in the event. With the corporate support for the Olympic committee, sports would be on a roll in the country,” Singh said.

The seven disciplines in which the club games will be played are basketball, volleyball, football, handball, hockey, Kabbadi and Kho-Kho. The women participation will be in three events — Kho-Kho, Kabbadi and Hockey.

“All the seven sports will be started as Team sports and in the second phase of the games next year, individual events will be included,” Singh said, adding, later Wrestling and Shooting will also be included in the games’ list.

FICCI Sports Committee Chairman, Atul Singh said Finance Committee will maintain regular check at the payments to ensure total transparency of fundings. “IOA will be concerned about the technical participation and FICCI will be providing funds in phases to ensure checks and balances.

“As such, process is on to finalise the total amount but in principle FICCI will take care of a certain amount, which includes prize money to winners. “FICCI will provide Rs 5 lakhs to states and then states have to take the call and continue with their funds to carry forward the project,” Singh added.

The National Club Games initiative was launched by President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge during the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune last year.

FICCI Secretary General, Amit Mitra said an international seminar will be held in December this year, where corporate and sports world from different countries will debate on how to promote sporting culture in India.

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