Nita Ambani, the founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, is the first Indian woman nominated as a candidate to be a new member of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) the supreme authority of the Olympic Games. Ms Ambani is one of eight candidates nominated; the final decision will be ratified by its Members Election Commission at the 129th IOC session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.
The IOC’s role is to supervise, support, and monitor the organisation of the Games to ensure they run smoothly; and the rules of the Olympic Charter are respected.
Thomas Bach, IOC President commented, “The eight candidates we are proposing to the next IOC Session are a strong and varied group of individuals that are experts in their respective fields and will make great contributions. The nominees represent a cross-section of expertise from the worlds of sport, culture, medicine, sociology, business, law and management. They have been vetted by new criteria in keeping with the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, and will add extra strength and diversity to our already universal orchestra of IOC Members.”
Ms Ambani, who has been a major advocate of sports in India, said, “It is truly an honour and privilege to be nominated by committee, I believe in the power of sport to shape our youth, to bring together communities and bridge gaps between cultures and generations. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute in meeting the goals of IOC.”
As founder and chairperson of India’s Sports Development Ms Ambani has shown extraordinary commitment to developing sports talent in India. If elected as a member of IOC, Ms Ambani will be at the forefront of supervision of Indian players who will participate in the Olympic Games; and will be the first woman to represent India in the IOC.
The Reliance Foundation, founded in 2010, is the philanthropic arm of energy and petrochemicals company Reliance Industry Limited, led by Ms Ambani to provide impetus to various initiatives. She has promoted different sports in India, including a Junior NBA programme, focusing on young talent through grassroots programmes; reaching over three million children in more than 5,500 villages and urban locations across the country. Ms Ambani is also the owner of Mumbai Indians cricket team.
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