Kalmadi urges corporate sector to support Olympic sports

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Bhopal, Sep 18 (UNI) Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi today urged the corporate sector to promote and support the Olympic sports other than cricket and open academies to train the budding sportspersons across the country.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Kalmadi said ''Industrialists should take initiatives and back the sportspersons of other fields too. They should catch them young and impart training from a very tender age.'' He said the IOA was envisaged to marketing the Olympic sports on the line of cricket.

''At present, marketing plays an important role and we are also planning to marketing other sports on the line of cricket,'' he said.

The government was trying to improve the standard of sports and various sports authorities were doing well but it was not sufficient, Mr Kalmadi pointed out.

''Monetary support in a big way from the industries is must to improve the sports scenario'',he said.

Mr Kalmadi said India's performance in Beijing, particularly winning of maiden individual gold medal by Abhinav Bindra, had made us proud which began a new chapter in Olympic sports.

''Olympic sports has come of age,'' he said, adding though India could win only three medals our overall performance had improved.

''Our athletes were among top twenty and had secured 7th and 8th spots in many events,'' he said.

The IOA chief denied that politicians dominated the sports bodies in India.

''Support of politicians to run sports administration is necessary'', Mr Kalmadi defended while answering a question.

About the preparation for 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games to be held from October 12 in Pune, Mr Kalmadi said the stage was ready for the meet and for the first time all 71 Commonwealth countries would take part in it.

Besides, preparation for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010, was in full swing, he said, adding To organise these two meets successfully will be great challenges. We will put our bid for the 2020 Olympics in India'', Mr Kalmadi said.

Mr Kalmadi, who came here to attend the 2nd Asian All-Star Competition, admitted that there was not enough facilities in our schools and colleges to promote sports and urged the Human Resources Development ministry to come forward to encourage sports at the school and college level.

UNI BDG SP 1512

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