MUMBAI: After announcing itself as the principal sponsor of the Wrestling Foundation of India (WFI) in August, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles Business Unit (CVBU) has further extended its support to the sport in an exemplary way by setting up the ‘Tata Motors Elite Wrestlers Development Program’. The official announcement for the same was made, in presence of the topmost players including Olympic medal winners Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik, in Mumbai.
The aim of the Elite program is to promote, encourage, and develop rising Indian wrestlers and prepare them for the Olympic Gold medals. Through this, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicle Business will help nurture an international standard eco system for athlete support to help India create a new success stories at Tokyo 2020 & Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It will support the players with best possible training and coaching facilities, enabled by renowned foreign coaches, support staff, and international exposure.
The program will appoint top class foreign coaches for both men and women squads, best possible support staff who will work both on the physical and mental development of the athletes and organise premium exposure trips for the elite Indian wrestlers so that they train and hone themselves according to the global training standards. The support staff will include experienced physiotherapists, biomechanics, mental trainers, and nutritionists. In addition, Tata Motors will also provide insurance cover to Indian wrestlers.
As revealed at the event, this is for the first time in the history of Indian sports, Tata Motors, along with WFI has announced central contracts to a sport other than cricket, assuring guaranteed benefits to Indian wrestlers. The central contracts are annual retainers that will be spread across 150 players as per grades and assure basic annual earnings for the players, through the sport.
Speaking on the occasion, Tata Motors president, CVBU Girish Wagh mentioned that sports is an important bridge to connect brands with the customers. He said, “Tata Motors, in line with its group’s heritage has constantly looked at encouraging sports and promoting sporting talent across India and overseas. Wrestling as a homegrown sport has definitely grown in popularity and needs further support in enhancing talent. We are strengthening our association with WFI by directing our efforts to promote, train and develop wrestling talent with advance coaching and international sporting experience.”
He further added, “We hope these initiatives help the Indian team to perform better. Our best wishes to the team for the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 & Paris 2024 Olympic games."
Commenting on the partnership, Wrestling Federation of India president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh said, " Tata Motors coming on board as Indian wrestling’s development partner will go a long way in creating a strong sporting ecosystem and strengthening our elite program. These facilities will help wrestlers focus fully on themselves and prepare for the toughest tests before winning medals for the country. WFI is grateful for the trust shown in the federation by Tata Motors and strongly believes that this binding and cooperation will eventually help make a strong beginning for wrestling in India.”
The event further observed the handing over of central contract to five Grade A wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Dhanda, Sushil Kumar, and Sakshi Malik.