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Proposed sports development legislation will be a game changer: Sports Secretary
The proposed National Sports Development Bill 2013, is aimed at transforming the sports eco-system in the country by enlisting the support from various stakeholders. The government has already initiated interface with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in this regard to bring them on board and to take their inputs while formulating the bill.

This was stated by Ajit M Sharan, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, while addressing the CII National Conference on Business of Sports, held in New Delhi today. Importantly, the function also felicitated sports persons from various disciplines.

Responding to a suggestion from CII raised by Deepak Jacob, Co-chair, SCORECARD 2014 and President and General Counsel, Star India Pvt Ltd that infrastructure status should be given to sports, Sharan said that there should a larger role for private sector engagement in the sports development in the country.

There is need for channelizing more funds for creating sports infrastructure, training of potential sports persons and in engaging world class coaches. In this regard, he said that the Sports Ministry will put up in the website the of profiles of sports events and sports persons that can be funded directly by the private sector under the National Sports Development Fund Scheme.

The Secretary said that sports management companies and consulting companies are increasingly being engaged on a continuous basis for promotional activities. Their role will increase in the coming days.

Welcoming the recommendation made by Deepak Jacob to form a Joint Task Force between Government, Industry and sports persons of sports bodies, Sharan observed that the Government would be consulting the private sector and take their help in bringing in new momentum in the sports eco system in the country on a sustained basis.

At the same time, he said that National Sports Federation have a greater role in sports promotion. He wanted CII to actively engage them in its strategy to get involved in the sports availing their expertise, funding and infrastructure at their command.

Referring to the underutilization of stadia built during major sports event, the Secretary observed that all over the world, despite the best legacy planning, stadia cannot be used 365 days a year. He wanted corporates to use the excellent facilities available with the stadia for their meetings.

Also, the government is working out various schemes for encouraging peoples' connect for these stadia by creating facilities for jogging, walking, cycling etc. alongside these places. He said that in the next couple of months there would be marked improvements in the usage of these facilities.

Sharan mentioned about setting up of the National Institute of Sports Medicine for which a blueprint has already been prepared. This body will provide the scientific support to sportsmen to improve their performance.

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