Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) Through their ‘Sports for All’ initiative, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) aim to ensure increased participation of women at all levels of cricket and contribute to equal opportunity for women and growth in India.
The RCB women’s team is very central to the initiative and the franchise wants to ensure cricket becomes a household name and one of the first career choices for young girls in India.
Owned by Diageo India, RCB will start their campaign in the inaugural Women’s Premier League with the clash against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Sunday. Beyond the field, the franchise thinks that the ‘Sport for All’ philosophy will also create a vibrant work culture and a holistic society.
Through the initiative, the franchise, among other things, wants to build icons to inspire the next generation, identify talent from every corner of the country through its Hinterland Scouting System and give them an opportunity to showcase their undiscovered, raw talent, and finally, provide them with a platform to play at multiple levels.
India opener and RCB women’s team captain Smriti Mandhana is pleased with the initiative.
“The WPL is a landmark tournament in the history of women’s cricket, and I hope we all will be inspiring a lot many women to take up the sport through our performance and presence. It’s extremely encouraging for us to see a franchise like RCB commit to this larger cause of equal participation of women and invest a round sum of money to get a team and contribute to the growth of India,” Mandhana said in a media release issued by the franchise.
Prathmesh Mishra, chief commercial officer at Diageo India, and chairman of RCB, said: “Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. Nation can grow if there is gender parity and advancing women’s equity can add to economic growth.
“Diageo believes it is our responsibility to contribute to the nation’s progress. Investing in the women’s team has always been on top of our agenda. We believe it is a core part of our culture of diversity and inclusivity.
We have invested (Rs) 901 crore to get this team because this mission is really important for this country. We believe India will move if we convert sports and fitness from hobby to lifestyle and we are committed to this agenda,” he added.