Sahara India to sponsor boxing, wrestling

February 23rd, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Sahara India took Beijing Olympics success in boxing and wrestling a step further when the corporate Monday announced its support to 30 upcoming boxers and wrestlers for the next four years.
As many as 17 wrestlers and 13 boxers were identified by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) respectively who will be provided monetary support beyond London Olympics in 2012.

Sushil Kumar and Vijender Singh, who won bronze medals in Beijing Olympics in wrestling and boxing, also figure in the list.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy refused to divulge the details of the contract but assured that the needs of the players would be taken care of.

“It is not possible to gauge what will be the requirements of the players tomorrow. We have not decided on how much financial support we will be giving. But we will fulfil the needs of the players as and when required, ” Roy said.

IBF chief Abhay Chautala said the performance of the players would be closely monitored.

“The performances of the players will be closely monitored by the federations. They can’t take the support for granted. If a player is under-performing, he will be replaced by another one,” Chautala said.

Sahara will also build new infrastructure at Bhiwani Boxing Club which will include international standard rings and state-of-the-art boxing arena furnished with adequate facilities.

The infrastructure of the famous Guru Hanuman Akhara that has given the country 17 Olympians will also be upgraded.

Kartar Singh, secretary-general of the WIFA, said monetary support is required to improve the state of sport at the grassroots level.

“It is a positive step. It is important that we begin the work from the grassroots level. It is not that the wrestlers suffer from lack of finances, but what they lack is direction. They definitely need more coaches. Even a state like Punjab which has been the hub of wrestling, has only 3-4 coaches. We also need academies,” he said.

“Sahara’s decision to sponsor the players has given us hope. We will tell them about our requirements and vision,” he added.

Bhiwani boxing coach Jagdish Singh, however, has already presented their primary requirements.

“What we most urgently need is a boxing hall and we have been assured that engineers from Sahara will come to build it. We also need rehabilitation centre as boxing is a very physical game and players quite often suffer injuries.”

Sahara India Pariwar is also the official sponsor for Indian cricket teams (men and women) and hockey team (senior and junior).

List (Boxers): Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar, Antharesh Lakra, Dinesh Kumar, Amandeep Singh, Nanao Singh, Narjit Singh, Chhote Lal Yadav, Rakesh Kalaskar, Dilbag Singh, Balwinder Beniwal and Santhosh Kumar.

(Wrestlers): Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Palwinder Singh Cheema, Rajeev Tomar, Rahul Aware, Vinod Kumar, Hardeep Singh, Amit Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Mausam Khatri, Joginder Kumar, Hari Krishan, Ravinder Singh, Vikram Sanghwan, Rajbir Chhikara, Manoj Kumar, Dharmender Dalal.

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