Sports and entertainment company TransStadia announced the launch of India International Sports Summit 2010 to promote the need for better infrastructure and opportunities for Indian sports.
The summit will be held on March 24-25, 2010 in Mumbai.
The company has an exclusive technology licensing agreement for All India and South Asia region with UK's StadiArena to build convertible multi-purpose stadiums.
"We have the formula to increase utilisation of stadiums and sweat the asset. The multi-purpose stadiums will ensure that footfalls continue and revenue does not stop. In the next one year, we hope to sign three more MOUs with other state governments in India," Sumeet Chatterjee, senior vice-president, business development, TransStadia, told afaqs!.
He added that sponsorship opportunities for the summit will open in the first week of November for traditional sports brands as well as non-traditional corporates such as infrastructure conglomerates.
Announcing the event, the company held a panel discussion at the press conference. The panellists were Priya Dutt, member of Parliament; Vijender Singh, Indian boxer and Olympic bronze medal winner; Ritwik Bhattacharya, India's top squash player; Tessa Sanderson, British heptathlete and javelin thrower; MM Somaya, former captain of the Indian badminton team and Arjuna Award winner; Ayaz Memon, editor at large, DNA; Arun Arora, executive chairman, Edvance Group of Companies and former president, Bennett, Coleman and Co.; Adille Summariwala, acting president, Athletic Federation of India; Harish Sheth, chairperson, Setco Group; and Udit Sheth, managing director and chief executive officer, TransStadia.
Sheth, in his opening address, emphasised the need for better infrastructure for sports in India and said that the lack of proper opportunities is the reason Indian sportspersons are not able to be at par with their international counterparts.
"We dream to transform India into a sporting superpower and will use the summit to give Indian talent the required voice," Sheth said.
"We are committed to building infrastructure that is multipurpose and iconic, scouting rural (sports) talent and bridging the gap between rural and urban talent," he added.
Dutt, in her address, said that a holistic approach is needed to build sports in India.
"India does not lack potential but infrastructure and opportunities. We have seen what corporatisation has done to cricket; so why not other sports, too?" she asked.
Arora, too, spoke of the significance of corporatisation and commercialisation of sports.
Memon criticised the government's lack of support for sports and said that private and government partnership is very relevant for Indian sports.
"We are on the cusp of major things happening in Indian sports but we should not be entirely dependent on the government. We need a sporting ethos in the country," Memon said.
Summariwala also voiced the need to build a sporting culture in the country and urged that sportspersons must be paid well so that sports can be seen as a viable career option.
"If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys. One must be able to make a livelihood out of sports," Summariwala remarked.
TransStadia also felicitated eminent Indian sportspersons who were present at the event.