[Think Sport] UK High Commissioner urges Indian companies to take a more active role in developing sports culture in India
Rahul Brahmbhatt is a contributing writer to Think Sport.
On December 15 and 16, 2009, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Global Sports Summit took place in New Delhi. The focus of the conference was to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the sports ministries of India and the UK in 2007. The main aim of this relationship is to strengthen the grassroots efforts for sports development in India so that skills like leadership and teamwork are cultivated in Indian youth.
While the main focus of the conference was to encourage Indian companies to be more involved in the marketing and funding of sporting events, it was also the stage where two academic papers on sports development were also released: a knowledge paper and a white paper.
As Mr. Atul Singh, Chairman of FICCI’s Sports Committee and President & CEO of Coca-Cola India, stated:
India, with a young population and an extremely healthy economic growth projection provided a fertile ground for the growth of the sports industry. Aided by an aspirational and outward looking younger generation with high values on fitness, the industry was at the cusp of a major change. However, through the dynamics for a successful sports industry to prosper are there, lack of infrastructure, minimal private participation and a lack of sporting culture have not allowed sports to be pursued as a career, he pointed out.
The convention will discuss important topics dealing with sports development such as creating adequate infrastructure, developing competent coaches and coaching structures, physical fitness techniques, sports marketing, and the growth possibilities of other sports in the face of cricket’s looming presence.