BCCI begins disbursement of funds to sportsmen selected for Olympics

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Mumbai, Jul 15 (UNI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has begun disbursing funds to assist sportspersons of the country picked for the Beijing Olympics.

However, the joint venture between the BCCI and the Sports Ministry to support sportspersons of select disciplines for three years is yet to be officially launched, according to the BCCI's July quarterly newsletter.

The joint venture -- for which the Board and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports would pool in Rs 25 crore each to create a corpus of Rs 50 crore -- would be officially launched soon by BCCI chief Sharad Pawar and Sports Minister M S Gill.

''The disbursement of funds to assist sportspersons selected for the 2008 Olympics has already begun. A special committee will be constituted to monitor the progress of this venture,'' the newsletter said.

The committee will have four nominated members each from the BCCI and the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) Executive Council and a representative from each of the Federations administering the concerned sports disciplines, it said.

The Joint Secretary (Sports) would function as the convener-secretary and the BCCI-NSDF Sports Talent Fund would be known as BEST Fund, it added.

Expressing happiness over the joint venture, Pawar said that the fund would be used to assist prospective medal winners in boxing, judo, swimming, archery and wrestling commencing from the Beijing Games and extending upto the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the BCCI also decided to provide Rs 50 lakh grant to each of its associate members for their development activities, its chief Sharad Pawar has said.

In an interview published in the BCCI's Quarterly Newsletter of July, Pawar has said one of the incomplete tasks of his tenure (which is coming to an end this September) was in giving affiliations to the North Eastern states and states like Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Bihar.

''The Board, which is financially well placed now, has taken certain decisions to improve the infrastructure at the grassroot level and I am sure my successor Shashank Manohar and his team will carry on in the same vein,'' Pawar has said.

''Every affiliated unit will get infrastructure grant upto a maximum of Rs 50 crore, which they can utilise for the development of a stadium, setting up a Cricket Academy, providing good playgrounds, among other things.

UNI GS SSS RKM ND2002

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