Smt. Nita M. Ambani, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member from India & Founder Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, today, congratulated Ms. P.T. Usha on becoming the new President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), calling it a testament to the growing inclusivity in Indian sports and how girls and women continue to lead India’s charge towards becoming a global sports nation. One of India’s most successful athletes and a flag-bearer of Indian sports globally, Ms. P.T. Usha was elected as the President of IOA, today along with a new Executive Council. With this, Ms. P.T. Usha becomes the first woman President in the history of IOA and also the first athlete to chair the position.
Smt. Nita M. Ambani, IOC member from India and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, said, “It gives me immense joy to welcome Smt. PT Usha as the first woman President of the Indian Olympic Association. I remember watching her with pride as she represented our country and won laurels for India. She has been a towering inspiration to millions as an athlete, and I am sure she will shine in this new role as well. Our women athletes have led the charge in making India a global sporting powerhouse, and I’m delighted to see so many women representatives now in IOA’s Executive Council.”
Smt. Ambani added, “I congratulate all newly elected IOA members and look forward to partnering with them. This is a landmark moment for Indian sport and a giant leap forward in strengthening the Olympic Movement in our country.”
Smt. Ambani has been a strong endorser of making India a multi-sport nation with an ‘athlete first’ policy and the importance of the contribution by women both on and off the field. Reliance Foundation has been working extensively towards the holistic development of athletes to support them with 360-degree initiatives which include providing world-class sporting facilities, coaching and best-in-class assistance in sports science and medicine.
The elections were held as part of IOA’s newly amended constitution which was presented to the IOA General Body in a Special General Meeting on November 10. Among its amendments are steps to introduce greater athlete representation with 8 sportspersons of outstanding merit (SOMs) and greater representation for women in various administrative and voting positions. Smt. Ambani had lauded the amendments and the greater representation of athletes and women in the newly amended IOA constitution.