India launches new National Olympians Association
4 | 7 | 2016
India has inaugurated a new-look National Olympians Association to celebrate the contribution of Indian Olympians to the Olympic Movement and the development of sport in the country.
The Olympians Association of India (OAI) was officially launched in Delhi on Monday at an event which brought together Olympians and other high-profile members of the Indian sporting community, government ministers, International Olympic Committee and World Olympians Association officials.
Olympic silver medallist and chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Claudia Bokel spoke at the event about the work of the Athletes’ Commission and the IOC Athlete Career Programme while triple Olympian and WOA treasurer Patrick Singleton addressed those present about the mission and support of the World Olympians Association.
The OAI has been established to represent India’s more than 5000 Olympic athletes. Its aim is to enrich the flourishing Indian sports industry and ensure the knowledge, expertise and leadership of its national sporting heroes and role models is passed on to the next generation.
Comprised of Olympians past and present keen to serve their community and their country, the OAI will work to ensure the achievements of Olympians in India are appropriately recognised while providing valuable support to Olympians following their retirement from competitive sport as they transition to a new career.
A new website has been developed to act as a hub for Olympians in India allowing them to easily access information on outreach programmes, career management, education and skill development, health insurance, sports pensions, mentorships, legal advice and support.
Mr. Shiva Keshavan, OAI President, five-time Olympian and the first athlete to represent India in Luge at a Winter Olympic Games, said:
“India has a rich and vibrant Olympic history and it is our desire to ensure the legacy of our great athletes is not lost. The Olympians Association of India intends to mobilise our many Olympians to enrich our communities and spread the Olympic values to the next generation. We will also work hard to ensure Olympians are better supported as they transition away from competitive sport post retirement.”
Dr. Malav Shroff, OAI General Secretary, WOA Board Member and Olympic Sailor, said:
“As we prepare to send our biggest ever Olympic contingent to Rio for this year’s Olympic Games, it is a matter of pride and respect that we provide a national association that represents Olympians both past and present to ensure their achievements on the international stage and the contribution they have made to sport in India is properly recognised.”
Mr. Joël Bouzou, President of the World Olympians Association, said:
“We would like to congratulate the Olympians Association of India on the successful re-launch of their National Olympians Association. India’s prominence as a sporting nation continues to grow within the Olympic Movement and the strengthening of the OAI will mean great things for the country’s many Olympians.”
You can find out more about the Olympians Association of India by visiting the website: https://www.indianolympians.in/ .