School Sports Promotion Foundation [SSPF]

File Photo : SSPF|06-Sep-2017 21:38

“To identify talent currently in schools across the country and nurture them to be able to participate at the highest sporting levels.”

A country of 1.25 billion manages just about a few medals in Olympics and pales in comparison with smaller and other third world countries. Furthermore, having the largest youth population at 38 crore, only 1% of India’s youth are active in sports. 

It is imperative that talent be recognized in the early years and nurtured through the teen years. With this we can give them a fair span of playing years to train, play and win for India. This can help in seeking a rewarding and fulfilling career. In a vast country such as ours, this can only be achieved through a digital, transparent, structured and organised effort.  

School Sports Promotion Foundation, in partnership with the Sports Authority of India and recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports as a “National Sports Promotion Organisation,” believes that most of our future champions are in schools today and it is here we need to proactively scout for talent and nurture them to be able to participate at the highest sporting level. SSPF attempts to reach out to every school in the country irrespective of its affiliation and socio-economic strata. 

SSPF also seeks to change the present paradigm where Excellence in Academics and Excellence in Sports is mutually exclusive. It is often that talented sports persons have to choose Academics over their interest in sports. School Sports Promotion Foundation seeks to blend the two and render them mutually inclusive.

Schools India Cup was launched to churn out budding athletes who will bring glory to the country. Eminent sports persons such as Bhaichung Bhutia, Renedy Singh, Chetan Sharma and Surinder Khanna, Hanuman Singh, Om Parkash, Sanjay Phogat, former India players, are spearheading the program in their respective sports. All these athletes were spotted at the school level and good coaching took them to international stage. The program is widely appreciated by Olympic athletes, Gagan Narang, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Mary Kom.

Since the participation of schools is central to this initiative, CBSE, [17,000 schools] CISCE [2,200] schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan [1,130] schools, Navodaya Vidyalayas [600 residential schools] have issued advisories to all their schools to participate. Furthermore, most state education boards have also advised their schools to take part in the program. 

The inaugural competition witnessed the participation from 20 states and 97 districts of India, i.e. roughly 24000 students from 1200 schools in Cricket & Football. With the overwhelming response in the first year, SSPF has expanded its purview to Basketball, Volleyball, and Athletes. We will add more sports each year to ensure that all children get an opportunity to play and a wide talent pool can be nurtured to bring medals for the country says Chairman Om Pathak.    
The government of India recently recognized School Sports Promotion Foundation as a “National Sports Promotion Organisation,” and Schools India Cup is hailed as the largest school sports grassroots program.   

The program is working towards creating a Centre of Excellence [COE] for Football. This COE will provide 100% scholarships to each merited student towards their academics and sports coaching expense for their remaining school years. It will be housed at one of the top boarding school and coached by eminent coaches and sports experts. The great advantage of the COE is that academics and sports will be mutually inclusive. Gone will be the days when a budding athlete will have to compromise on their education for an opportunity in sports.

Since the entire programme has been designed and poised as national movement – of, by and for the country, it is only appropriate that every organisation joins in the movement; at the level of district, state of national governance by sharing their human resource, i.e. eminent sports persons and facilities wherever available.

The second season of Schools India Cup 2017 having commenced will trigger the excitement across the country in 25 states and 200 districts. More than 50,000 students are expected to participate throughout the array of sports being offered this season.