New Delhi: Tata Steel has been recognised as the ‘best organisation contributing in sports through CSR’ at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020. The India Sports Awards ceremony took place on a virtual platform during ‘TURF 2020’, the 10th Global Sports Summit on December 8, 2020. Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, received the award on behalf of the company.
Sports has been integral to Tata Steel’s philosophy of nation building. It was a tradition started by the company’s first Chairman, Sir Dorabji Tata, who financed India’s first Olympic team to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1920. In India, Tata Steel spearheads the corporate promotion of sports through its relentless and constant encouragement to professional sportspersons, amateurs and its own employees, to pursue sports and excel.
On receiving the award, Chanakya Chaudhary, said: “At Tata Steel, sports is a way of life. Tata Steel’s association with sports dates back nearly a century, and is an integral part of its culture. The local community has always been at the core of the sports activities that Tata Steel supports. While sports has served as a unique link between Tata Steel’s business and the community outreach, its role in the company’s culture and identity has grown stronger than ever. Through its sports academies and training centres, Tata Steel has helped shape some of India’s iconic sporting talents over the years. We are humbled with this recognition from India Sports Awards and it also re-affirms our commitment towards the development of sports and athletes.”
Six years ago, Tata Steel started the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, a 25-km run that has a social cause at its heart – supporting the Tata Medical Center, a cancer hospital in Kolkata. Tata Steel has also organised running events annually in Jamshedpur and Noamundi (in Jharkhand) and Bhubaneswar and Angul (in Odisha). This year, in view of the pandemic, the company organised its first-ever virtual run.
Tata Steel established the Jamshedpur Athletic Club in 1927 and started sports competitions for working men, women and their children. The company set up the Tata Youth Adventure Centre, known today as Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, in 1984. Three years later in 1987, the company launched the Tata Football Academy followed by the establishment of the Tata Archery Academy in 1996. Indian athletics too received a boost when Tata Steel unveiled the Tata Athletics Academy in 2004. In 2017, Tata Steel for the first time stepped into the commercial side of sports when it started Jamshedpur Football Club (JFC), which competes in India’s premier football league ‘ISL’, a promising platform for budding football talent to compete with international and national athletes. The same year saw the emergence of Naval Tata Hockey Academy. Besides these academies, Tata Steel has also established training centres for 18 sports disciplines including archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, chess, football, golf, handball, horse riding, karate, kabaddi, roll ball, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.
Tata Steel continues to add value to the overall sports ecosystem of the country by providing world-class infrastructure support and training through experienced and qualified coaches and support staff. Over the years, the efforts by Tata Steel has produced athletes who have been recognised with the highest honour in the country. So far, Tata Steel has 1 Padma Bhushan, 11 Padma Shree, 1 Khel Ratna, 1 Dhyan Chand, 6 Dronacharya and 42 Arjuna awardees. The company believes in building a better future for all, and it is committed to continue to do this through the medium of sport.