Largest-ever contigent for Rio Olympics, Steel Ministry, Reliance Jio, Tata Salt among sponsors

NEW DELHI: In its highest ever contingent, India is sending a total of 119 sportspersons who have qualified for participation in Rio Olympics 2016 to be held from 5 to 21 August 2016.

A total of 57 sportspersons qualified for participation in Beijing Olympics 2008 and 81 sportspersons qualified for participation in London Olympics 2012.

Minister Vijay Goel told Parliament today that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has informed that sponsors already committed are Reliance Jio and Edelweiss Financial Services as the Principal Sponsors, Amul, Tata Salt and Herbalife as Associate Sponsor, Li Ning and SBJ as apparel sponsors.

Preparation for Olympic Games is an ongoing process. Training and competitive exposure to sportspersons preparing for international sports events including Olympic Games are provided under the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs) and National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

(Two sportspersons - sprinter Dharambir Singh and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt - are being sponsored for the Rio Olympics by the Steel Authority of India Ltd. Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh conferred the SAIL logo and felicitated the atheletes recently. Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai, Secretary Steel Ms. Aruna Sundararajan and SAIL Chairman P K Singh and senior officers of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.)

The Youth Affairs & Sports Ministry does not maintain data about the sponsorship given by private sector and public sector companies directly to the sportspersons and sports bodies for preparation and training of the sportspersons for their participation in international event including Rio Olympics 2016.

The Ministry has formulated a programme “Target Olympic Podium Scheme” (TOP Scheme) within the overall ambit of the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

An Elite Athletes Identification Committee has been set up with Ms. Anju Bobby George, renowned athlete as its chairperson, Pullella Gopichand and Ms. M C Mary Kom as members among others to evaluate and select potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games for support under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme. Identified medal prospects are being provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support under Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme.

Further, in order to enhance the number of participants in the next Tokyo Olympics, the Government has set up a Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) in Sports Authority of India.

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