I am 60 years of age but I still eat, sleep and think cricket. At this age also I have the same passion for the game like any other young player. And after seeing so many future cricketers playing under one roof of Schools India Cup, I am overwhelmed. It is my second season as Secretary, SSPF National Cricket Council and it is an amazing experience to see budding talent from all over the country.
This season so far we have covered 5 states at the cluster level. I must admit that we have seen some brilliant talent like Aryan Sidharth Pawar- the run machine of Holy Cross Sr. Sec. School Haridwar scored this double ton against S.M.T. Neema Devi Kala Public School. I just gone through the scoresheet and was so excited to see such talent who has 12 sixes and 24 fours which is equivalent to 168 runs just from boundaries. He can do wonders if given the right guidance and coaching.
Oh! How can I forget about Ram! He is the Indian cricket sensation and you can also call him Dhoni’s predecessor. Ram Raushan Sharan from Jawahar Vidya Mandir school, Shayamali. He not only scored 143 not out in just 80 balls during a cluster level match against International Public School, Kanke. He also took 2 vital wickets in that match which proves that he is an excellent all-rounder in making.
In our first season, I have seen such immense talent in the young generation. I still remember the days of our National camp held in Dehradun’s leading school SelaQui International School. It was a 10 days’ camp and I was the head coach. I must say that I learnt a lot from Gen X. I met Sanchit Pasricha from Delhi who is a Chinaman bowler, K SARVAN KUMAR who came all the way from Telangana to attend the camp. I have shared all my expertise and techniques of the sport with these children and observed that given a right opportunities and guidance they can do wonders.
This season we will find more and more talent and as per our mission to give these young players a proper guidance we will soon come up with a center of excellence. It will be one special school where all selected players from this season and previous season will get admission and the expense of their study will be taken care by SSPF. They will get the best of coaching to excel in their favorite sport.
So I just want to wish all the superstar players of tomorrow to play with passion, practice with honesty, believe in yourself and sky will be the limit for you.
Best of luck, CHAMPIONS! J
April 23, 2017: SSPF today announces India’s largest grassroots school sports tournament SCHOOLS INDIA CUP 2017 in 5 different sports. In its 2nd season SSPF is all set to go ahead with three new sports i.e. Volleyball, Basketball, Athletics along with Cricket and Football. This is for the first time that a sports competition or tournament is being organized on a national level.
As compared to the 1st season the number of schools participating this year is almost double which is near 4 thousand schools from different states and districts of the country. To encourage such participation of schools and children SSPF came up with a National tournament of every sport under its National Talent Search and Nurture Program.
“We are committed to serve the nation and sports is one of the medium where we need to emphasis so that we can bring glory to the country on International sports arena.” Said SSPF chairman Om Pathak. “We are proud to announce a nationwide sports tournament Schools India Cup to be played in 5 different sports under SSPF.” He said.
Former India Football captain and SSPF National Football Council Chairman Bhaichung Bhutia is excited with this program-” It is a kind of program which is designed to give exposure to the real talent at grassroots at the right time and in right manner.” He said
In a very short span of one year, SSPF has expanded individual sports and received the honor of National Sports Promotion Organization (NSPO) by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. Now, Schools India Cup is the largest tournament across the country which will further add integrity to this program by opening avenues of opportunities of recognition to the participating school children in education and career
Former Indian Footballer Renedy Singh who is associated with SSPF as a secretary of SSPF National Football Council said “conducting such kind to structured sports tournament across the country will further strengthen the commitment of SSPF to produce more young talents who will represent India on International platform”.
The NTSN 2016-17 competitions are slated to start in two phases this year- January & April 2017. In the first phase districts which have completed 8 or more school teams have played. Rest of the districts will play in the second phase of the tournament will start by the end of the April 2017 in all the above mentioned 5 sports.
Sports create leaders and it completely fits in the School sports Promotion Organization. When I was approached for this program I was not sure if I want to do it. But the essence of the program providing the balance of studies with sports touched my heart. Often elite players are clueless about their future after they stop taking part in sports. But SSPF is one such program which not only ensures to find the talent at the right age but also provide the best education to those kids giving them bright future ensuring in building a strong nation. It ensures the much needed grass roots training for kids to learn the game at the right age and give their best to India.
While we always talk about why we don’t get more medals at Olympics homework starts right from the beginning of the game. SSPF provides the platform for the players to know the game better, understand their capability and at the same time educate them to be better students and citizens of India.
SSPF puts education at the heart of activities making it easy for the players to learn game more effectively. Basketball is not just a game to play it is a sport that changes life makes us smarter with every skill we learn and perform.
I get query how can I build my future? Where should I train? What will I do if even after working hard I cannot make it to the Elite level? What is the future of sports in India? SSPF is my answer to all of them. As we gear up for our first season I request all the budding players and coaches and school teachers to come forward and be part of us. We will help you achieve better and higher.
I feel satisfied and at the same time hungry to be part of SSPF. Satisfied because I found a path which ensures development and hungry because I want to touch every aspiring player heart beat with our program.
Coach-Indian Junior Team
Secretary- SSPF National Basketball Council
Sports not only help us to keep fit and focused but also generate a level of creative satisfaction that gives us a sense of integrity, a sense of strength and a great sense of achieving something for others, no matter if it’s a winning trophy or just a good performance.
The satisfaction that you get when playing your favorite sport is the ultimate driving force which led me to initiate a project like School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF). Sports unleash the sense of thinking and dreaming within you.
As kids we have dreams, but as adults we stop dreaming. But I am a big dreamer as I never stopped dreaming and aiming high. SSPF is the result of this knack of mine as American basketballer Frank Gaines rightly said- “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”
SSPF is not only India’s first grassroots school sports program but it’s also a passion to take concrete steps for the betterment of sports. Sports are considered as a hobby in our country and for us to become a sporting nation we need to feel its importance in our daily lives.
I still remember when we started in 2015, our biggest challenge was to start such a project which had not been attempted, let alone achieved ever before in our country. As professional American footballer Ronnie Lott said- “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”
Now we have entered the second season wherein alongside Cricket & Football, we are introducing three new sports- Volleyball, Basketball and Athletics. With these new initiatives we remain focused on delivering on our promise to keep evolving and aiding in making India a great sporting nation.
To add another feather in our hat we have received recognition from Govt. of India as an NSPO which is at par with all National federations. As the legendary Pele said- “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning”.
So always remember to keep believing in your goals and making unrelenting efforts to achieve them!
I wish you all a very happy and safe Holi!
26 January 2017: This is my first ever experience with SSPF. I am excited as well as nervous like a child who is entering the ground for the first time. Joining hands with SSPF gave me a special sense of responsibility and I have the faith in it that it will create a revolution in the history of Indian sports.
I am amazed and thrilled with the response SSPF got in its inaugural season, 11,024 budding football talents participated, 48 districts from 14 states across country took part in this great initiative making it India’s largest grassroots school sports program. Total 7,300hours of competition is not easy to organize.
In this season, as a true sports person I will contribute my best for the betterment of football. I believe in the saying of Irish football player Roy Keane -“I don’t believe skill was, or ever will be, the result of coaches. It is a result of a love affair between the child and the ball.”
Football is not just about goal tallies and revenue figures but also inspiration and style! Sports and games offer useful lessons for youngsters about the importance of teamwork, preparation, passion, dedication, attitude, definitions of success, dealing with failure and having a sense of humor at the end of the day.
Beginnings are scary, but they are also where we embark on opportunities, create awesome experiences, and learn the most about ourselves.
At last I only want to say what Pele, the great footballer of all time and a legend has told us- “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
20 January 2017: The New Year marks another season of SSPF. As chairman of SSPF’s National Cricket Council I am excited and proud to announce that we will start the first phase of cricket by January end.
SSPF witnessed the likes of Sanchit Pasricha from Delhi, a chainaman bowler who took 6 wickets in Nationals and stole the hearts of spectators. Another young boy from Telangana, Ankur Singh who made 14 batsmen return to the pavilion during Nationals. Then there was Shaurya Singh an upcoming all-rounder from Uttar Pradesh, Prudhvi from Andhra Pradesh, the list is endless.
Now we are heading to the next season of cricket with even more excitement as we have achieved immense applauds and appreciation from young talents, parents, schools and Government as well. Because of our great efforts we got recognition as National Sports Promotion Foundation by Govt. of India. Being an NSPO it is a matter of pride but also an added responsibility and greater commitment towards Talent Search & Nurture. We will try our best to serve our young talent better by giving them best of the facilities and coaching they need. In return we at SSPF also expect from schools and parents to appreciate our efforts and support us by believing in us.
To my young heroes I just want to say practice hard and play harder. You are our hope. We will make sure to support you in which ever manner its needed to make your sporty future shine. You need to remember one thing- :
Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.
Just two words spring to mind when I think of the journey of the National Talent Search and Nurture (NTSN) programme: Fulfilling and exciting.
With the end of the first season in sight, we are able to joyously look at the progress of cricket and football under the aegis of the School Sports Promotion Foundation in partnership with the Sports Authority of India. Around this time last year, we were still discussing NTSN’s concept and its structure.
Such a project has not been attempted, let alone achieved, before in our vast country. With close to 2000 school teams registering in our inaugural year, the enthusiasm across the nation has been palpable. We believe the foundation for a high-quality programme has been well and truly laid and that we are poised to make a difference.
Having said that, we have drawn lessons from the journey so far. We have realised that we need a more vibrant organisation on-ground to make the players believe that they are part of a beautiful programme. To achieve this, we have secured the help of a number of similar-thinking sports organisations as we move towards NTSN’s second season when we will add basketball, volleyball and kabaddi to our calendar. The stage is set for several thousands of schools to become part of the exciting journey to make India a more sports-conscious nation.
I would like to thank the thousands of boys who have become path-breakers by competing in the first season of NTSN, their Schools which have provided them the opportunity to pursue their sporting dreams. The Chairpersons of SSPF Cricket and Football Councils, former India players Chetan Sharma and Sq Ldr SS Hakeem, have offered visionary support and leadership.
Together with Team SSPF in Delhi, they have been able to secure the unstinted services of State and District Co-ordinators to ensure that NTSN has already captured the imagination of schoolboys across the country. It only makes us determined to renew our vigour as we prepare for the climax of the first season and the launch of the enlarged second season.
Yes, it has been a fulfilling, exciting and humbling experience.
I am particularly excited that we are finalising our plans to set up a Centre of Excellence for each of the five sports disciplines that are part of our calendar. It would be wonderful to be able to have these sets of talented boys come together as one and hone their skills under expert coaches and trainers in an atmosphere that encourages both academic and sporting pursuits.