Pune, Oct 18 (UNI) All time great pole vaulter Sergey Bubka is on a charitable mission and wants to help poor children develop through sports.
Bubka today announced that his Sergey Bubka Podium Foundation Award has identified Pune's Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme (CASP) as the beneficiary for funds to support nutrition needs of children, besides help regarding buying sports equipment, paying coaching and entry fees.
Bubka has been visiting different charitable sports establishments around in the world to encourage more youngsters to take up sport, having already visited the Newham Sports Academy in London, Care for Children in Beijing and Sport-the-Bridge initiative in Addis Ababa.
CASP, established in 1975 and working in Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat, is the first organization to be supported in India and is involved with children's development in under-privileged areas through sponsorship in education, health and sport.
Bubka, the world men's outdoor and indoor pole vault record-holder and an International Olympic Committee member, stressed on the value of sport in changing people's lives.
''We need to keep children off the streets and sport is very effective,'' he said, after felicitating performers at the Udayan Mangal Karyalaya.
Tushar Malpute and Bhagyashree Machutre (scholars), Kalyani Kulkarni and Jalja Shirole (sports) and , Sandeep Navale (NCC) were honoured on the occasion.
The Sergey Bubka Podium Foundation award will be launched in Monaco later this year and will be implemented from 2009.
''Creating the SBPF award for CASP means I can give children from this area a chance to pursue their sporting dreams," explained the Ukrainian pole vault great, who is chairman of the Summer Youth Olympic Games 2010 co-ordination committee and had attended the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 in Pune.
CASP president emeritus Dr S D Gokhale acted as the moderator in an interaction between the world champion and students, in the form of a question-answer session on the young children's topic of choice.
When asked by a young sportsperson about the route to winning an Olympic medal, Bubka advised her,''dream of an Olympic gold medal.
Work hard and never get pulled down by defeats.'' UNI GS AB GC2000