CREDIT: InsideSport Desk
In what is a watershed moment in India’s sporting ecosystem, Hon. Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India, Shri. Kiren Rijiju today unveiled Nestle Milo’s association as a title sponsor to NIDJAM (National Inter District Junior Athletics Meet) – one of the world’s largest talent hunt programmes for a single sport, with over 50,000 young athletes participating in it every year to qualify for the finals.
Speaking at the unveil, Shri. Kiren Rijiju said, “At a time when Government of India under the leadership of Hon. Prime Minister is getting set to launch the game-changing initiative “The Fit India Movement”, it is heartening to know corporate entities are backing a talent hunt initiative that involves young athletes from nearly 500 districts of India. NIDJAM will be a good model for all other disciplines to follow as well. I congratulate the AFI on their good work and I am certain this partnership with Nestle Milo will further strengthen the program and its outcome will be visible to all.”
The initiative is a platform for boys and girls in the Under-14 and Under-16 age groups to showcase their talent across 10 athletics disciplines. NIDJAM in the past has unearthed champions like Neeraj Chopra, Dutee Chand, Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and V Subha.
Present at the unveil was Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President IOA, who congratulated the AFI and wished NIDJAM 2019 success.
AFI President Adille Sumariwalla welcomed Nestle-Milo as the Title Sponsor of the flagship AFI NIDJAM, “It will be right to say that NIDJAM can be an important part of the Fit India Movement that Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will launch on August 29,” he said.
“We believe Nestle-Milo is a great brand fit and that it will enjoy the partnership with the Federation even as AFI is poised to take track and field sport to new levels in India. This year, we are taking it to newer heights by not only increasing the platform’s reach to over 400 districts, but we will also be extending financial support to over 100 district associations across the country as a way of recognizing and rewarding their hard work. It is a reflection of the positive direction in which AFI has been moving, both in identifying and nurturing talent that makes India proud on international platforms,” he said.”
Starting 2019, talent identified at NIDJAM will be trained and groomed by expert coaches at special National Camps, in partnership with Khelo India with Olympics 2024 & 2028 as milestones.
“Sport is part of MILO’s DNA. As a brand, MILO encourages participation in sports at an early age. We believe that participation in sports helps a child imbibe life values & lessons that helps to set his or her strong foundations for the future .As the world’s number 1 cocoa-malt beverage, we are honoured to partner with NIDJAM – one of the largest Indian national sports talent-selection programmes Its a proud moment for Nestle MILO and we are certain that the collaboration with AFI will strengthen our nations commitment to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Mr. Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director Nestlé India Ltd.
The association is structured by AFI’s marketing partners Meraki Sport & Entertainment, and commenting on the association, Ajit Ravindran, Managing Director, Meraki said “While on one hand NIDJAM as a platform has been contributing to our nation’s sporting capital for the last 15 years, on the other, Milo’s philosophy is to enable all round development amongst kids, through sport. There couldn’t have been a better value match. We are excited to bring this to fruition and our role will be to drive value to all key stakeholders – AFI, MILO & the platform itself.”
The 2019 edition will be held between the 24th of 26th of November in Andhra Pradesh.