Tata Trusts to double spending on sports to Rs 100 crore





Tata Trusts plan to double spending on sports programmes over the next five years, after having set up a team last year to develop a strategy for such investments, a senior executive said. 

The trusts will set aside as much as Rs 100 crore annually by 2022 toward sports such as archery, kabaddi, hockey, football and badminton. The grants will be closely tied to education initiatives it sponsors in various states. 

As many as 50,000 students in Mizoram, Manipur, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh could benefit from the higher spending. 

“We are trying to integrate sports in our overall fabric of work and integrating it with our work in education. So we are now far more invested in the grassroots level and that is what has happened in the last 12 months or so,” said Anand Datla, head of sports at Tata Trusts. 

Datla, formerly a consultant with Deloitte, has set up a 12-member in-house team that focuses on sports-related activities. 

“The Tatas have been working in the area of livelihood development in Mizoram. This has helped them create a positive image among local communities and it is easier to then work with the local administration to develop sports,” said Lalnghinglova Hmar (Tetea), secretary of the Mizoram Football Association. 

Tetea said the state football association was tying up with the trusts to sponsor the under-15 Mizoram Premier League. 

The trusts will make minimal investments in creating sports-related infrastructure and will use existing government-owned facilities to promote sports, Datla told ET. The bulk of funds is likely to be spent on hiring coaches and providing training and equipment. 

The plan includes setting up two centres to coach talented footballers in Mizoram and Manipur and a centre in Chhattisgarh to promote badminton. The Tatas are in discussions with former national badminton champion Pulella Gopichand and the Sports Authority of India to set up the centre. 

The organisation plans to expand its training programmes for hockey in Jharkhand and is working with 100 government schools in Andhra Pradesh to provide training and assistance to develop kabaddi. 

“The evolution of corporate involvement with sports actually goes back to the Tatas .Over time, it has obviously acquired commercial objectives with corporates looking to sponsor leagues over the past three-four years,” said Jaideep Ghosh, a partner at KPMG 





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