Claiming that the country can win more than 10 medals in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today asked the corporate sector to come forward and sponsor the athletes so that India can become a sporting power in the near future.
According to Sonowal, Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme which aims to increase the country’s medal tally at Rio 2016 and identify potential future stars for Tokyo 2020 has already selected 75 prospective athletes and he said the corporate houses should come forward and sponsor them for their special training.
“We are aiming for 10-plus medals in Rio 2016 and for that the corporate houses have to come forward to patronise budding talent selected as Olympic Probables to provide them training and competition exposure and inputs required for proper training,” he said at SoulAce and Indian Chamber of Commerce organised CSR summit here.
“It can be in the form of imported equipment; services of foreign coach, diet supplements and sports science back up. CSR support for preparation of Indian Contingent for Olympic Games 2016, Commonwealth & Asian Games 2018 and Olympic Games 2020 is required,” he said.
“If the corporate houses spend a portion of their CSR funds towards promotion of sports, India will surely emerge as the superpower in sports in the world,” he added.
Sonowal said his Ministry has identified seven sports as medal prospect disciplines in the Olympic Games 2016 and identified 75 core probables and another 75 probables will be selected shortly.
The disciplines are archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, shooting, weightlifting and wrestling.
He said under CSR, contribution of funds can be made towards National Sports Development Fund under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, created for the support of talented sportspersons in their training and competitions and also for financial support to former Olympians in setting up their Sports Academies.