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Bridgestone India's track-and-field program is bringing a revolution in grassroots for Indian athletes

Bridgestone India's comprehensive track-and-field program is fuelling the dreams of Indian athletes at the grassroots level and eyeing holistic development to achieve world-class success.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2021-10-25T00:06:06+05:30

Indian athletes are making their mark at the global stage with each passing day, and massive transformations are taking shape in the sports ecosystem. The standards and competition levels are witnessing a seachange where a nanosecond or millimetres of differences can separate the best from the rest.

To bridge this gap for Indian athletes, the need of the hour is infrastructural development and appropriate goal-oriented targets. Our athletes need the systematic balance of physical fitness, training, and endurance to manoeuvre their performances and put up their best show on any given day.

This is where Bridgestone is helping change the game with their dedicated effort at the grassroots level.

Bridgestone India, in association with Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Karnataka established a comprehensive Track & Field Program at the institute in Bellary. In the four years of its operation, the program has helped young track, and field athletes realise their potential and represent India in the highest levels of global competition.

It is a first-of-its-kind program that has already produced 89 medals in national and international competitions. It aims to sponsor the training of 50 athletes across multiple disciplines of Track-and-Field sports by 2025.

The athletes are trained under globally-renowned coaches at the IIS campus in Vijayanagar. It is India's first-ever privately-funded High Performance Training Centre, focussed on grooming talented athletes into champions who can deliver podium finishes at the world stage and providing a safe haven for rehabilitation and off-season training for elite athletes.

Presently, the program has provided fully-funded scholarships to 32 athletes who are enrolled into their residential program that facilitates their holistic development, both on and off the track.

In this 1-minute-52-second video, the Bridgestone Centre of Excellence for Athletics showcases their encouragement for athletes to pursue their dreams. The video focuses on the 11 junior and youth national champions who have trained at the centre.

Started in 2018 by Frenchman Atony Yaich, the Bridgestone Centre of Excellence for Athletics at IIS provides world-class infrastructure, including an IAAF-approved athletics track. The centre emphasises on areas such as sports science, coaching, education, nutrition, and recovery. They have taken a pledge to help India become an athletics powerhouse and win global medals in the years to come.

The Olympics is the greatest show on the planet. Every athlete waits for their turn to represent the nation in the grandest sporting quadrennial extravaganza and dreams of winning a medal. India has sent its biggest-ever Olympic contingent to Tokyo with huge hopes for medals being weaved.

Among the contingent, four Indian athletes — javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra and Annu Rani, steeplechaser Avinash Sable, and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar have already set their feet in the hallowed grounds of Tokyo. These four athletes, who have brought numerous medals for India at multiple national and international tournaments, have been a part of Bridgestone India's four-year-long comprehensive Track & Field Program.

"While I congratulate the four athletes, I also wish to compliment The Inspire Institute of Sport for their world-class curriculum that is helping many other sportspersons compete in global events. We are committed to supporting the creation of a sustainable environment that helps hone more athletes. After all, no one is born an Olympian. Olympians are made," said Mr. Parag Satpute, Managing Director, Bridgestone India.

Apart from the four, Bridgestone India's brand ambassadors Padma Vibhushan Mary Kom (Boxing), Padma Bhushan PV Sindhu have put up commendable shows at the Tokyo Olympics. The latter has become the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals.

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