32 athletes currently part of the Athletics Centre of Excellence at IIS receiving full scholarships and training by renowned international coaches
Neeraj Chopra (Javelin), Avinash Sable (Steeple Chase), Annu Rani (Javelin), M. Sreeshankar (Long Jump) to represent India at the Tokyo Games
Bridgestone India’s four year-long running association with the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Karnataka established a comprehensive Track & Field Program at the institute in Bellary to help talented Indian athletes achieve their dreams of representing the nation at the highest levels of international sport. This first-of-its-kind partnership has already seen visible success with 89 medals won at national and international levels, and more recently, four athletes from the program qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Neeraj Chopra (Javelin), Avinash Sable (Steeple Chase), Annu Rani (Javelin), M. Sreeshankar (Long Jump) will represent India in their respective events.
These athletes were trained under renowned coaches and globally benchmarked facilities at the Inspire Institute of Sport at Vijayanagar, Karnataka. The IIS is India’s first privately-funded High Performance Training Centre, focused on grooming champions in India with an eye on success and podium finishes at Global sporting events and providing a safe haven for rehabilitation and off-season training for elite athletes. By 2025 Bridgestone India, through the Bridgestone Centre of Excellence for Athletics, plans to sponsor training of about fifty athletes in various disciplines including Sprints and Jumps, Javelin and Middle Distance Running.
The 32 athletes receive fully-funded scholarships and are enrolled into the residential program that takes care of their holistic development and growth on and off the track. Additionally, the Centre is currently home to 11 junior and youth national champions, 11 junior national records and 89 medals in national and international levels since its inception.
“Bridgestone India’s encourages everyone to “Chase your Dream” and it is a proud moment for all of us that these four athletes have been successful in doing so and now they go on to represent India at the Tokyo Games. 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 support the creation of a sustainable environment that helps hone more athletes, after all no one is born an Olympian. Olympians are made” said Parag Satpute, Managing Director, Bridgestone India.
“Athletics is known as the mother of all sports and with the highest number of medals on offer at the Olympic Games, having a strong athletics program was a no-brainer for us when we envisioned an institute that would help India create more Olympic champions. We have always believed that there is tremendous potential and talent in India and the IIS is a movement towards achieving that dream. Having a partner like Bridgestone India believe in our vision is testament to the role corporate India can play in the growth of sports in India, and has strengthened our resolve to produce world class athletes from India,” said Parth Jindal, Founder, Inspire Institute of Sport.
Started in 2018 and helmed by Frenchman Atony Yaich, the Bridgestone Centre of Excellence for Athletics at IIS aims to nurture and groom talented Indian Track & Field athletes. Through world class infrastructure including an IAAF approved athletics track and dedicated emphasis in areas such as sports science, coaching, education, nutrition and recovery, the program is aimed at helping India become an Athletics powerhouse and win global medals in the years to come.
Bridgestone India’s brand ambassadors are also from the world of Indian sports. They are Padma Vibhushan Mary Kom (Boxing), Padma Shree Sakshi Malik (Freestyle Wrestling), Padma Bhushan PV Sindhu and Padma Shree Srikanth Kidambi (Badminton).