Sports Body For Tie-ups With Chambers

Kolkata, October 19: | Updated: Oct 20 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is seeking tieups with apex industry bodies to further its efforts at promoting sports with the help of industry, according to Dr Gopinath Kishore, regional director of SAI here.

Brushing aside talk that SAI has become a white elephant, Dr Kishore said the bodys task is to promote sports and not to make money.

That is why we are looking at bodies like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said.

SAI has been working with a positive target since its very beginning, but all went in vain because of poor marketing. We now lay stress on that, and are planning to do some aggressive marketing, Dr Kishore said.

The just-concluded Busan Asian games and Manchester Commonwealth Games had shown up SAIs good work. So SAI is an eye-opener, Dr Kishore said.

Among the industry bodies, the CII said it has no tieups with SAI but has chalked out its own plans to help sports in the country.

We want to do something, and we can do it without signing pacts, a CII spokesman said.

He said the CII is working on a three-pronged strategy that will be unveiled in a few days.

First, the CII will support five disciplines. Second, it has already chosen five or six sportspersons who will be designated golden hopes. Third, it will work on Indian hockey.

We dont want to reveal the disciplines or name sportspersons, since it is a very recent decision, the CII spokesperson said. For hockey, it will look at preparing astroturf grounds.