Sports For All announced a holistic scholarship programme for children here on Wednesday that promises to take the revolutionary multi-sports inter-school competition in Mumbai to the next level.
“We have signed up training and development partners for all the 26 sporting disciplines that school kids will be competing in. The idea is to offer talented kids the best training facilities and coaching support so that they go on to become future champions,” Rishikesh Joshi, the founder of SFA, said at a press conference at the CCI.
An avid sports lover and former sports administrator Rishikesh said that the second edition of the SFA will be grander and much more professional, with over 35,000 students expected to participate in 26 Olympic disciplines when the 15-day tournament gets under way on December 5.
“We have full faith in the project and believe that this will nurture good future athletes. The entire tournament will be conducted in a highly professional manner. Every match will be video recorded and the scholarship will help our young stars get better, skillfully, physically, mentally and as a sports person,” Rishikesh added.
“The kids will be offered scholarship for one year initially. Their progress will be monitored closely and we will do whatever possible to help them. They will also be given opportunity to participate in various tournaments,” he said.
Sports For All also announced that D.Y Patil, the official venue partner of SFA Mumbai 2016, will be developed into a centre of excellence. “We want to make DY Patil a centre of excellence for sports so that young athletes can come and practice throughout the year. The idea behind this project is to create a sports ecosystem where aspiring young athletes get readymade facilities to train throughout the year,” said Rishikesh.
Dr Vijay Patil, who was present at the press conference, was all praise for the event, saying that the effort put in by the SFA at the grassroots level is commendable.
“The seeds sown at D.Y. Patil will grow into a big tree very soon. SFA deserves a lot of praise for what they are doing for the kids. They have created an ecosystem and have joined different schools from Mumbai through a common thread,” said Patil.
“They do not discriminate between anyone and have given a chance for everyone to come and perform on a common platform. I am very impressed with what they achieved last year and I believe that they will do it much better this year,” he added.
Mr. Sujay Jairaj, trustee of Jamnabai Narsee School, was very impressed with the way the event was conducted last year. He believes that the addition of more sporting disciplines and new concepts like the scholarship programme and the centre of excellence will only make it better.
“My school had participated in SFA last year and to be honest I have never seen anything as professional as this at the school level. They have taken it to a different level altogether and we are very excited and waiting for this year tournament to begin,” said Sujay.