The Indian Olympic Association unveiled an impressive set of ceremonial and sports attire for the Commonwealth Games, along with the sponsors, in the presence of the Union Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore and a bunch of leading athletes on Monday.

With Edelweiss offering sponsorship, apart from an insurance cover of Rs.50 lakh to each athlete, the IOA has in fact been able to take care of the expenses of sending the strong Indian contingent of 227 athletes apart from officials, to Gold Coast, Australia, for the Commonweallth Games.

In an encouraging development of long term commitment, Edelweiss also assured its support to the Indian contingent for the Asian Games later in the season and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, along with the National Games for two years.

In a strong message, the Sports Minister wanted the athletes to win fair and be good ambassadors for the country. “We do not want to win at any cost. We need to show self discipline, be it players, managers, everyone. We will win fairly’’, said Col. Rathore.

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Expressing the Union Government’s strong support for sports, from grass roots to elite level, the Sports Minister reiterated the government’s stand to make equal contribution to the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).

“It is a federal fund. So, whenever anyone puts money into it, it gets doubled, as the government puts equal money. The company that puts the money into the fund, can tell where the money can be used, geographically, which athlete, or which sport’’, the Sports Minister clarified, even as he wished all the players, officials the very best”.

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The Chairman of Edelweiss Group, Rashesh Shah said that he was “overwhelmed and overawed” by the energetic words of the Sports Minister. “Athletes are healthy and we will help them manage their long term wealth”, the Edelweiss Chairman said.

Raymond and Shiv Naresh will provide the ceremonial and sports attire for the athletes bound for the Commonwealth Games. The IOA secretary general, Rajeev Mehta said that more announcements would be made soon about other sponsors.

The IOA president Narinder Batra said that IOA would continue to strive to be self sufficient and independent, but hastened to add, “we will take grant from government. Except cricket, no other sport can survive without government support”.

A bunch of leading sports persons, H.S. Prannoy, Jitu Rai, Harpreet Singh, Rani Rampal, Rupinderpal Singh, Sarita Punia, Manu Baker, Annu Raj Singh, Anish Bhanwala along with gymnasts Dipa Karmakar, Pranita Das, Mohd. Bobby and Gaurav Kumar sported the track suits designed for the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games.

Even though she would not be competing in the Commonwealth Games, Dipa Karmakar expressed confidence about a good performance by fellow gymnasts, as the season started on a bright note with the World Cup medal through Aruna Reddy.