India, Australia sign sports partnership

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said that Victoria University and University of Canberra will assist India to establish a ‘National Sports University’ on the lines of the Australian Institute of Sport.The assurance by Turnbull came at the launch of the India-Australia Sport Partnership (IASP) jointly with Indian Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Vijay Goel in the presence of cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.Under the IASP, the two countries will cooperate in four key areas – athlete and coach training and development, sports science, sports governance and integrity and grassroots participation.In this context, the visiting dignitary and Goel met some young girls from Mumbai slums who are being taught to play sports by Apnalaya, an NGO with which Tendulkar’s mother-in-law Annabel Mehta is associated.Turnbull praised the initiative, saying that “sports builds up social capital”.Goel said that India has a lot to learn and share with Australia on the sports front.”The IASP would facilitate exchange of athletes, coaches, technical officials and sports scientists between the two countries,” he added.Goel said India has started treating sports as a very important component of public health management as well as education.”We have launched a major programme, ‘Khelo India’, for developing a sporting culture at grassroots level and we are planning to introduce sports as a compulsory subject in schools,” he added.He announced that the National Sports Talent Identification & Development Portal would be launched in India shortly.

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