Athletic ace PT Usha expressed happiness about heading the Executive Council of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) with “all sports people” as she took charge as the President at the IOA Bhawan here on Saturday.
Announcing the results after the election, which was basically for four executive council member spots and one joint secretary, as the rest were taken unopposed, the Returning Officer, Umesh Sinha wished luck for the new panel to take Indian sports to greater heights.
“Except for 13 years, I have done sports all my life, be it as an athlete, coach or in administration. I never thought that I would become the IOA Chief or a Member of Parliament. The members of the athletes commission pushed me to file my nomination. We will make a collective effort for the betterment of sports, so that our tricolour flies high in the international arena. We will work with the national federations, athletes and coaches to bring more medals for the country”, said PT Usha, as she addressed the media.
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She assured that the IOA would be easily accessible to all athletes.
Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu was equally elated about Usha decorating the top post. She recalled sitting on the lap of Usha as a kid and said that she took another photo in the morning to post as “then and now” on social media.
“I am happy to continue as an athlete. It is good to know what is going on. I will do my best to help them”, said Sindhu.
Another Olympic medallist and vice president of IOA, Gagan Narang said that the effort would be to make it memorable for everyone and “take sport to the next level”.
The president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), and the joint secretary of IOA, Kalyan Chaubey fielded most of the questions from the media and stated that the Executive committee would meet soon to plan the short-term and long-term work to be done. He pointed out that people from different sports and from different strata of society made the IOA Executive Council, with most having played sports, and that it was a very healthy way forward for Indian sports.
The IOA office bearers:
President: PT Usha; Sr. vice president: Ajay Patel; Vice Presidents: Rajlaxmi Singh Deo, Gagan Narang; Treasurer: Sahdev Yadav; Joint
Secretaries: Alaknanda Ashok, Kalyan Chaubey.
Executive Council members:Amitabh Sharma, Bhupender Singh Bajwal, Lt. Gen. Harpal Singh, Rohit Rajpal; Dola Banerjee (SOM-F), Yogeshwar Dutt (SOM-M).