In India, Cricket is generally believed to be the sport of the masses. For decades, this single sport had overridden Hockey (a sport in which we were globally dominant) to become everyone’s favorite. Other sports were berated to be mediocre in terms of financial prospects and a low number of fans.
On the whole, sports in India has always been considered a strict ‘no-no’ career option. Students interested in sports are considered weak in studies and forced to forego their passion for sports in order to ‘make a career’. However, things are changing now…
Sports in India is resurging again!
India’s sporting culture is finally coming back to tune. Thanks to the NGOs and institutes mentioned below, sports is being inculcated in school curriculums at the grassroots level to hunt for new talent!
In order to help India progress in the field of sports – an area where we are nowhere near a superpower as compared to the US, China or Russia, these NGOs are our final rescue!
Let’s take a look at NGOs and sporting institutes who are literally sewing back the torn sporting fabric of India:
1. GoSports Foundation
When it comes to sports training, this NGO founded in 2008 is the one that pops up in our minds first!
With an advisory panel comprising of star Indian sportsmen Pullela Gopichand, Rahul Dravid and Abhinav Bindra, this NGO boasts proudly of bringing India medals in almost all events its supported athletes take part in!
To name just a few, this NGO currently mentors and financially supports these star Indian sportspersons with pride:
- DattuBhokanal – Rowing
- Swapna Barman– Athletics
- AnjumMoudgil– Shooting
- Manav Thakkar – Table Tennis
- Muhammed Anas Yahiya – Athletics
- DevendraJhajharia–Para Athletics
- DipaKarmakar– Artistic Gymnastics
- SatwiksairajRankireddy, KidambiSrikanth, H.S. Prannoy, Sai Praneeth – Badminton
- Meghana Reddy– Rhythmic Gymnastics
This is not even 10% of India’s budding sporting talent that this brilliant NGO sponsors and polishes towards success at the international level. Most of their representative sportspersons have brought major laurels for our country in the form of medals won at the Asian Games, Commonwealth, National Championship and Open level tournaments.
2. Reliance Foundation
Part of the Reliance Group’s CSR ventures and launched in 2010, this foundation has scouted immensely talented kids from around the country playing various sports. Hundreds of children are now enrolled in the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (Football) and Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program (Basketball).
It financially supports 13 schools from where local talent is also selected for the Indian Super League’s (ISL) grassroots initiatives to help nurture football in the country.
The school sports program for kids aims to help develop school-based sporting talent. This helps children take sports as a serious career option and also inspires them to imbibe core values like teamwork, sacrifice, discipline, dedication, and sportsmanship.
Founded in 2009, this NGO currently supports more than 80 sportspersons from eight different disciplines in our country who are shining bright at the international level.
Similar to the achievements of the GoSports Foundation, this NGO to has showcased impeccable results on the global scale in the form of broken national records and medals.
Some of the budding sportspersons they currently nurture are:
- Nauman Anwar – Boxing
- Pooja Rani – Boxing
- ViditGujrathi – Chess
- PrarthanaThombare – Lawn Tennis
- VikramKurade – Wrestling
Famous alumni and sporting veterans from this foundation who have brought immense laurels to our country are:
- AchantaSharath Kamal, Manika Batra – Table Tennis
- Lalita Babar – Distance Running
- AshwiniPonappa, JwalaGutta, Manu Attri– Badminton
- Ankita Raina, Mihika Yadav – Lawn Tennis
- Jai Bhagwan– Boxing
- RahiSarnobat, TejaswiniMulay – Shooting
- Soumya Swaminathan – Chess
4. JSW Sports
A premier sporting institute that is the official sports arm of the prestigious JSW Group. Established in 2012, this institute owns Bengaluru FC(the most successful football club of India), Haryana Steelers (Pro Kabaddi League), and co-owns the Delhi Daredevils (Indian Premier League).
Apart from this, they are also doing their bit in honing the talent of many popular sportspersons like:
- NikhatZareen, VikasKrishan, Satish Kumar– Boxing
- Lalita Babar, OP Jaisha, Sudha Singh, SeemaPunia, Neeraj Chopra – Track and Field
- SumitNagal– Table Tennis
- Narsingh Yadav, Sandeep Tomar, Rahul Aware, GeetaPhogat, BabitaKumariPhogat, Sakshi Malik, BajrangPunia– Wrestling
- Pinky Balhara– Kurash
Not only this, but they also launched India’s first High-Performance Olympic Training Centre in Vijayanagar, Karnataka known as the Inspire Institute of Sports for producing champion sports personalities.
STAIRS works predominantly in rural India where lack of sports resources is a major problem. Since its launch in 2005, they have expanded their outreach to 4000 villages of India across 7 states. The main mission of this NGO is to help children achieve livelihood and adequate nutrition through sports training.
Currently, they train close to 1 lakh budding cricketers, footballers, hockey players and distance runners from over 5000 schools of the country.
Awarded Best NGO in Sports by FICCI in 2016, they have launched Stairs School Football League (SSFL) which is a major event welcoming footballers from all over India. They also hold grassroots Football Trial Camps periodically to find new talent and conduct a 20-20 Tri-Series for the differently-able apart from an Inter-State National Volleyball Cup.
Thanks to them, our India is progressing rapidly in the field of sports and achieving the status it had lost out to other sporting countries a long time ago.
They have worked so hard with these sportspersons and young talent that this is the first year where we have had the highest medal haul at the Asian Games, Para Asian Games and Youth championships across the world! Something to be very proud of!
If you also know someone interested in sports, please introduce them to these highly equipped facilities! There is a lot of talent left to be searched in our 1Billion+ population and definitely, we will someday surpass the likes of USA, UK, China, and Russia in each sport!