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steel for Joshna
first beneficiary of Lakshmi Mittal's initiative
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Mittal said, "I went to Athens to see the Olympics last year and was excited by the performances, but was disappointed to see India languishing at the bottom. When Lithuania can win medals why not India?
"There are many districts in India and I am sure there's plenty of talent to be tapped there. Someone like M.S. Dhoni has emerged from Jharakand. I hope more Indian corporates would start similar initiatives to support Indian sports. We will do our best, train athletes in India or abroad in order to achieve excellence in sports," said Mr. Mittal.
Nine-time doubles Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi met Mr. Mittal at the All England Tennis Club last June as a result of which the trust modalities were completed with a catch phrase, "India's first trust dedicated to win medals and prestige for Indian sport".
An advisory board consisting of former All England badminton champion P. Gopichand, athletics coach Bobby George and F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has been constituted. They will spot talent in the age group of 10-12, 13-17 and 17 and above, advise on training and travel schedules and groom them. Bhupathi's Globosport will manage the select sportspersons — initially 10.
"There is no age limit. If someone has the potential to win medals at 26 or 27 we will support him or her," said Bhupathi.
Congratulating Mr. Mittal, the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr. Praful Patel, said cricket has received maximum patronage in independent India and was happy that Mr. Mittal had decided to support sportspersons.
"He's the third richest man in the world. I hope he becomes the richest man so that he will be able to support sports in India in a much bigger way."
India's cricket captain Rahul Dravid is one of the trustees on the board, apart from Messrs. L.N. Mittal, Aditya Mittal (L.N. Mittal's son), Amit Bhatia (son-in-law) and Mahesh Bhupathi. "We will get a different perspective from Rahul, that's why he's in the trustee board," said Mr. Mittal.
gunning for gold... no stopping me now!
Only last week,
India’s squash hope Joshna Chinappa had expressed her regret, as she
spoke to Mid Day (November 5), about dearth of sponsorships in squash.
Olympic dream is worth Rs. 40 crore
up Champions trust for nurturing promising Indian sporting talent.
Lakshmi N Mittal is known the world over as a steel tycoon. On Tuesday, he revealed a steely resolve for a different kind of quest.
London-based businessman pledged a whopping Rs. 40 crore to the Mittal
Champion Trust. The money is not going towards adding corporate addresses to
his large empire; it aims to put Indians on the sporting map of the world.
Like always, Mittal,
along with India’s established champions – trustees Mahesh Bhupati,
Rahul Dravid, Amit Bhatia and advisors P Gopi Chand and Bobby Gearge – is
medals and Asian Games glory is paramount on their minds. For them, the 2012
London Olympics is the culmination of their plans. The strategy is simple
– 10 promising youngsters, starting with ace squash player Joshna
chinappa, will be picked and nothing will be spared to make them
need for doing more of Indian sport struck the world’s richest Indian when
he witnessed the Athens Olympics. He was moved by the inspiring
performances, but disappointment that India came back with only one medal
– shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s silver.
Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupati, managing director of Globosport (a sports
and entertainment management company) rekindled the businessman’s passion
for sport when he approached him in London in July. Four months down the
line. The trust is up and running.
hope other industrial houses take a cue from what we are doing and do more
for sports in India,” Mittal said on Tuesday.
joshna, who entered the senior circuit this year, the signing-up could not
have come at a better time. “I am ranked no.60 (Seniors) in the world now.
This is my first full-year in the senior circuit and hence I have to play a
lot of tournaments that will generate points and boost my ranking,” Joshna
said. Amsterdam will become the squash player’s second home come January,
where she will go to train under former World No.2 Liz Irwing. “Asian
games gold will be my next big target,” she said.
who have made a name for themselves are also in discussions with the trust.
“We are looking at billiards and snooker champion Pankaj Advani and
swimmer Shikha Tandon. Four athletes are also being short-listed,”
Rs. 40 cr marked for
the Mittal Champions Trust.
Work with all sports associations
Provide training to selected athletes in India and abroad, with focus on Olympic sports.
Board of advisors along with sportspersons and their families will chart out career plans.
Trust will cover all sports-related expenses, including training and nutritional expenses
Criteria for selection will be performance, results, drive, commitment and potential
should think beyond profit’
Hindustan times, Mumbai, 8 november 2005
Industrialist Lakshmi Mittal (Right) with his wife Usha and Tennis player Mahesh Bhupati at the announcement of the Mittal Champions Trust in Mumbai
Steel Magnate Lakshmi Mittal urges
corporates to do more for Indian sport
MAGNATE Lakshmi Mittal said during the launch of the Mittal Champions
Trust here on Tuesday that those sponsoring sports must look beyond
can never create awareness if you think only about profits,” Mittal
the world’s third richest man, said. “I feel more sponsors will
come in when they see our sportsperson, not just cricketers but a
variety of athletes, shine in world sport.”
Mittal, who lives in London and in the UK’s wealthiest individual said his companies regularly sponsored sport. He recalled he had provided support to the badminton-playing Gandhi brothers from Pune – Ajay and Nitin – in the 80s.
“They went to Indonesia for training and returned better players,” he said. “Those days it was difficult to get into badminton programs in Indonesia.”
All England badminton 2001 champion P Gopichand, longjumper Anju Geaorge’s husband Bobby George and Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan were present at the launch. Also in attendance were tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, who thought of the Trust in the first place, and promising squash player Joshna Chinappa, recipient of the first Champions Trust scholarship.
has happened at the right time for me,” the 19-year-old Joshna, ranked
number two in the juniors, said. “I will be playing the seniors circuit
from next year. I plan to play about 15 tournaments and would like to train
for extended periods under Liz Irving (former Australian star) in Amsterdam.
If not for the trust, it wouldn’t have been possible.”
is a contender for a medal at next year’s Asian Games in Doha, where
squash makes its debut.
David (Malaysia) and Rebecca Chilu (Hong Kong) will be the main hurdles in
Doha,” she said. “I want to train and play as much as I can. Ideally, I
should spend six weeks in Amsterdam before each major event.”
ranked number 60 in the seniors, said that she had outgrown the coaching
options in India and that many of the world’s top-10 players played at
Irving’s center in Holland.
she added, “It is easy to travel to and from tournaments if you are based
in Amsterdam. Chennai (where she is from) involves too much traveling.”
Gopi and Bobby were grateful for the Champions Trust, which plans to allot nearly Rs 40 crore for the nourishment of Indian sport.
good amount of money is going into the project, which makes it financially
stable,” Gopi said.
Bobby, asked if Indian athletes were genetically of lower speed and strength than those from developed nations, said, “It is easy to sit at home and pass judgments, but that is a myth. Indians reached two track and field finals at the Athens Olympics (Anju in the long jump and the women’s 4X400m relay team). Once you participate with them, you realize they are not superhuman. You lose the inhibition. For example, whenever Anju travels to a world meet now, she feels as if she is visiting a family get-together.”
King to fuel India’s gold quest
Hindustan Times, Mumbai, 9th November 2005
P. Gopichand and Mahesh Bhupati flank Joshna Chinappa, the first beneficiary of the Trust
LAKSHMI MITTAL, the richest Indian in the world and chairman of Mittal Steel, announced the launch of the Mittal Champions Trust here on Tuesday.
The Trust will invest Rs. 40 crore in Indian athletes (from three age groups: 10-12, 13-17, 17 and above). The objective, conceptualized by tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi, is to improve India’s performance at global sporting events, starting with the Asian Games 2006 and peaking at the 2012 Olympics in London. “I was in Athens during the Olympics and it saddened me to see India at the bottom of the table,” Mittal said. “If Lithuania can win a medal, India should win a handful.” The athletes will be chosen by a board comprising Bobby George (long jumper Anju george’s husband and coach)
Bhupathi, who had taken his idea to 40 Corporate leaders in India with little success, sought a meeting with the London- based Mittal during this year’s Wimbledon. “He asked me to send him a blueprint, which I did. He liked it. I stopped in London on my way to US Open and we finalized the agreement,” said Bhupathi.
The board of trustees comprises Mittal, Aditya Mittal, Amit Bhatia, Bhupathi and Rahul Dravid. Tennis player Manisha Malhotra will be the administrator of the trust and look after its day-today operation.
The trust will pick 10 athletes. The first beneficiary is squash player Joshna Chinappa (19). Athletes who sign on will have to pay it 15 per cent of their endorsement earnings (not prize money) as long as they are with the trust. The amount will go back to the trust.
Indian sportswomen who do not answer to the name of Sania Mirza will now
attract endorsements, thanks to visible talent, sure promise, and some
enterprising corporate support.
teen-queen Joshna Chinappa, and Dipika Pallikal have been taken aboard two
separate talent promoting entries, ensuring the all important financial
inflow and performance permitting – even future brand management.
Fourteen-year-old Dipika, who was on a roll at the Western India Open reaching three finals and pocketing both the under-15 and under-19 titles, will now be managed by Showdiff, the talent and event management company, jointly floated in early 2004 by Rediffusion and ex-cricketer Ravi shastri. The initial contract, finalized on Friday, has been signed for a year, and subject to mutual satisfaction, will be extended further.
will facilitate endorsements, but importantly will also help out with other
aspects of managing her squash career, which is headed in the right
direction,” Susan Pallikal, Dipika’s mother said.
chinappa, who has catapulted Indian women’s squash single handedly on the
world stage, by winning the British Junior open and making it to the final
of the World Juniors, will meanwhile benefit from being taken aboard the
Lakshmi Mittal Foundation. “The formal announcement is expected in some
days, but I am excited since I’ll get to meet him personally,” Joshna
19-year-old player, ranked 61 in the world, had battled a dearth of
sponsorships an hence restricted her appearances on the professional WISPA
circuit (Playing just 3 tourneys, finishing runners-up in one) till the
appearance in the World Juniors final this year. Funding trickled in from a
few enthusiasts, but was never enough to play the higher- graded squash
tournaments, which are conducted across the world. “I’ll really get onto
the circuit full-time next year,” she said.
fitter, despite the two months away from the courts since the WISPA meet in
Kuwait, Joshna is training hard on physical fitness, before she goes full
blast in 2006. “I’m not upto scratch in my on-court training, but I’ll
start soon. I also plan to go on month-long sessions in the future at
Amsterdam,” she said.
gaping gap between India’s top junior and the next best Dipika Pallikal
has not deterred corporates from approaching the precocious teenager, who
has already modeled for a leading bank brand. Perched on the top of the
rankings in Europe in her age-section, Dipika earlier created a flutter
beating India’s second seeded senior Dr Deepali Anwekar Parikh at CCI, and
as the contract indicates, looks a promising bet for the future.
Champions Trust to support Joshna
chapiojns Trust – which was launched on Tuesday – announced that they
have signed Joshna Chinappa as
the first athlete in its fold. Announcing the signing up of Joshna at a
media conference, Lakshmi Mittal – the chairman and chief executive of the
world’s global leader in steel ‘Mittal Steel – said the main aim of
the trust was to “identify, support and enhance” the performance of
talented young Indian sportsmen and women.
have set up a corpus of Rs. 40 crore for the purpose. I was inspired by what
I saw in last year’s Olympic Games in Greece and was at the same time
dismayed by the Indian performance,” Mittal said. Tennis star Mahesh
Bhupathi – one of the trustees – said: “The ultimate goal of the non
profit trust is to improve the performance of India at major global sporting
events, starting with the Asian Games in 2006, followed by the 2008 Beijing
Olympics, the 2010 Asian Games in London.”
trustees board also has in its ranks India Captain Rahul Dravid, Lakshmi
Mittal, A Mittal and Amit Bhatia while former all England badminton champion
Pullela Gopichand and ace woman long jumper Anju Bobby George are on its
“The youngsters would be identified from three different age brackets, 17 and above, 13-17 and 10-12,” the tennis star said, but added that in specific games the upper age limit can go up if needed. (ENS)