India will have its first-ever Olympic Hospitality House in Tokyo next year. It will be set up by the Indian Olympic Association in partnership with JSW Group, it was announced on Thursday.
The official India House logo was unveiled by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in the presence of IOA President Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
“The India House at the 2020 Olympics is an amazing concept. We need a team to produce a sports champion. We have to create the right ambience for our athletes at the Olympics. The India House will represent the idea of India at the Tokyo Games,” said Rijiju.
Scheduled to be operational from July next year, the India Olympic Hospitality House will be built by JSW on a piece of land of 2,200 square metre area in close proximity to the Games Village and multiple venues in the Ariake region of Tokyo.
It will offer a range of activities and experiences for travelling fans and supporters who will be in Tokyo for the Olympics. A staple among developed sporting nations, this will be the first-ever such venue for India at the Olympic Games.
Batra said India House will be a home away from home for Indian athletes and fans at the Tokyo Olympics.
“The India House is a great initiative and we are pleased that JSW has come on board to showcase our culture and heritage at the Olympics through this Hospitality House. Through this, we hope that the Indian athletes and fans can feel at home in a foreign land during the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
Running through the duration of the Games, the venue will host watch parties, medal celebrations and meet-and-greet opportunities with the Indian athletes. Traditional Indian sports will be displayed and visitors will also get a taste of variety of Indian cuisine.
A dedicated Athlete Lounge for the Indian Olympians to feel at home and access to medical facilities and food will be available on site.
A media centre to host travelling Indian media personnel has also been planned in the area.
Several Indian and international brands will also have their stalls to display and sell their products.
The IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta, who was involved in the process of identifying the proposed site for India House, highlighted that the event would be special as it would mark the centenary of India’s participation at the Olympic Games.
Indian athletes first participated in the Olympic Games in 1920 in Antwerp though India was not an independent country at that time.
“We thought it could be a great initiative to mark 100 years to India’s first participation in Olympic Games. The India House will host special meetings and dignitaries from different federations and Olympic Committees and help India make its presence felt in the Olympic Movement,” he said.