New Delhi, Aug 7 : Former Youth Affairs & Sports Secretary Ajit M. Sharan has joined NGO STAIRS Foundation as its Chairman to strengthen its path-breaking programmes in broad-basing sports, it was announced here on Wednesday.

Sharan's contribution to the development of sports and sports entrepreneurship "in his previous roles has been a game-changer. He's a supporter of the role of the non-profit model in the development of sports taking advantage of CSR competencies of corporate houses," the STAIRS (Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports) Foundation said in a statement.

"Sports is today at an inflection point and has great growth potential. In the sports ecosystem of the country, STAIRS Foundation is one organisation that helps in nurturing and honing talent thus helping in realising the potential of youth and children," the statement quoted Sharan as saying.

"There's a need for a concerted effort, not only by the government but by society at large. In the years to come, STAIRS Foundation will play a big role in creating the right ecosystem to hone talent and realise India's sporting potential and I am excited to join as its chairman of the board. I look forward to working closely with the team and continuing to contribute in my own small way," he added.

Welcoming Sharan, STAIRS founder Siddhartha Upadhyay, a Member of the Governing Body of Sports Authority of India, said the foundation was committed to make India a sporting nucleus in the world.

"Sports is one of the most potent ways to engage society productively and the best way to hone talent," Upadhyay said, adding that foundation had for long been "providing the necessary support, infrastructure and encouragement to underprivileged youth and children to play a sport of their choice".

STAIRS was awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar in 2016 and recognised by the government as an NSPO (National Sports Promotion Organisation).

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