PM offers incentive to invest in aspiring athletes

PM Garibashvili with ex-Olympic Champion and MP Leri Khabelov on the sports conference., 15 Apr 2014 - 13:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is calling on businessmen to invest in Georgia’s upcoming athletic stars in a bid to develop Georgia’s sporting arena.

At the ‘State Politics of Sports: Challenges and Prospects’ conference, being held at Expo Georgia today and tomorrow, Garibashvili offered an incentive to businessmen to invest in Georgia’s younger athletes.

"A number of our businessmen finance renowned athletes, which is a kind job and charity. I want to offer them a new vision – to look at the prospects of young, beginner and already professional sportsmen from the future investment point of view. Invest in them and believe me, [investors] will receive feedback and be proud of their contribution in this affair,” Garibashvili said.

He noted sport, on a general scale, needed "special support” from the state as efforts of single individuals and team athletes were not enough for its proper development.

"It is the first time throughout the last decade that an event dedicated to the issues of sports development is held in our country. The occasion is unprecedented by its scale and meaning. I hope that today’s meeting will contribute to the effective implementation of state politics of sports,” he added.

Garibashvili said the Government was currently working hard to promote sport in Georgia and provide solid state funding, and authorities had already taken concrete steps in this direction.

He believed facilitating the development of professional sports in Georgia was "of greatest importance to the state”.

Garibashvili said the Government had implemented programs to discover and support talented athletes, which in the long run would help Georgia be represented in world class sporting competitions, such as European and World Championships and Olympic Games.

Day one of the conference was attended by the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Levan Kipiani and other representatives within the sporting field, including former footballers and foreign experts, who arrived in Georgia specifically for event.