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Sport does not differentiate, it knows no race or religion, says Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani

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Addressing the Sport Business Summit in London, Nita Ambani, a member of the International Olympic Committee and the owner of Mumbai Indians, said sport changed her life, perspective and worldview. Ambani, director of Reliance Industries and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, has a long, storied association with the promotion of sports in India.

Sport does not differentiate, it knows no race or religion, says Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani
Nita Ambani, director of Reliance Industries and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, on Tuesday, said sport changed her life, perspective and worldview.
Addressing the Sport Business Summit in London, Nita Ambani, a member of the International Olympic Committee and the owner of Mumbai Indians said sport does not differentiate, it knows no race or religion and talent can come from anywhere and reach the pinnacle of success.
Inspiring a billion dreams
In her address, titled ‘Inspiring a billion dreams: The India opportunity’, she said her own tryst with sport began at an age when most sport persons retire.
“I was 44 when sport changed my life, my perspective and my worldview. It all started with cricket and Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2009. It was the second season of IPL -- The Premier League and our team was at the bottom of the table. I had no knowledge of cricket but I flew to South Africa to motivate and be with the team when they were down and out. From those first meetings with the teams, learning the nitty-gritties of cricket from the legends of the game to this day ten years later when MI is the most valued team in India with four IPL titles, my journey has been incredible. Through this magical journey, I experienced for myself that cricket is truly a religion in India,” she observed.
The recipient of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award 2017, Nita Ambani has a long, storied association with the promotion of sports in India. Reliance Foundation has partnered with NBA through an initiative named Reliance Foundation Junior NBA programme. This initiative has won recognition as the world’s largest Junior NBA programme, reaching 11 million children from 34 cities in 20 states, in a cricket-crazy nation.
Sport in school curriculum
The chairperson of Reliance Foundation has pointed out that although the British gave cricket to India, the record for scoring the highest number of runs in test cricket and in ODIs stands in the name of one Indian - Sachin Tendulkar. “I am proud to say that Sachin was the captain and has been the mentor of Mumbai Indians since inception. What MI has taught me is this - Sport does not differentiate, it knows no race or religion, talent can come from anywhere and reach the pinnacle of success,” she added.
Recently, Reliance Foundation hosted a match between Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings in India, the first such NBA game in the country. Last year, she called for the inclusive growth of sports in school curriculums to spur India as a multi-sports nation. The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) has impacted more than 4 million children from 5,000 educational institutes, according to her.