Mumbai: The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) on Monday signed a 10-year deal with Mumbai-based realty firm, Nirmal Lifestyle, to develop sports at the grassroot level.

Through the licensing agreement, the real estate firm would have an exclusive right to use IAAF's logo and trademark for development of IAAF certified training facilities, academies and clubs in the country, it was announced at a media conference on Monday.

"All the hardware will come from Nirmal and software from IAAF," said Nirmal Lifestyle chairman and MD Dharmesh Jain.

He also said the realty firm would build townships with IAAF-standard synthetic tracks in five locations, which can be used to train talented athletes who would be chosen from IAAF's Kids' Athletics programme involving schools.

"Two of these would be in MMRDA ( Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Developmental Authority) region and one may be in Pune," he said.

IAAF's marketing advisor Papa Diack said that 12 coaches have already been selected to start the programme in September for school children in the age group of 7-12.

"Hopefully through this programme there would be a gold medal for India in 2016 or 2020 Olympics. That would be great," said world long jump record holder Mike Powell, who is the world athletics body's ambassador.

According to IAAF's member service director Elio Locatelli, the programme is part of the World Athletics Plan, chalked out in 2003, to make athletics the most popular sport in schools around the globe.

(Agencies)