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 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!
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.