How NTSN 2016-17 Is An Exciting Yet Challenging Tournament?

A tournament that meets the global standards and provides excellent exposure to all the incredible players from all around India has brought a revolution in the world of sports. Players from different parts of India will participate and show different playing styles to reach out to a larger mass. National Talent Search and Nurture, initiated by the School Sports Promotion Foundation has come to be one of the challenging grass root sports tournaments in the country after a long time.

NTSN 2015-16
NTSN 2015-16

Considering the scenario, the expectations are raising high from what this tournament can achieve – not only on the ground but also at the National level. From the tournament authorities to the head coaches and all the young players, are working hard to take this game at a spectacular level. With India moving towards one of the biggest sports revolution that will go down in the history of grass root sports, more and more schools from all around India are participating in this  tournament.

NTSN 2017-18 won’t be easy. Why?

Here are some of the crucial factors that play a key role in why it will be a challenging tournament for young players.


Fitness is the ultimate factor. A tournament where more than 3000 school teams have registered and 2000 teams have participated, fitness is the priority. Unfortunately, shorter the time duration, hectic is the travel schedule and continuous matches make it tough for players to remain fit all the time. However, they should be strong and determined enough to take on new challenges each and every day.

Mr. Chetan Sharma, Chairman of Cricket Council has pointed, “This is a different kind of tournament which focusses specifically on school sports. The schedule is tough and you will get tired. The way the players played in NTSN 2015-16 was quite inspiring to me. I personally feel that you not only need a good team, but you as a team should be fit.”

NTSN 2015-16
NTSN 2015-16

The strength and ability to play differently may not always be same throughout the tournament because the team may not remain the same. Few of the players may get injured while others may not be available. Players won’t get time to recover during this short duration. They also have to play continuous matches in the duration of 2-3 days.

It will be very difficult for the players to prepare themselves for the next match, especially when the schedules are so short. However, you also need to understand that fitness is one of the major elements in this game because it can only help you win in the longer run. Players need to push their limits to be fitter and agile during the tournament.

A Mix of Native Players

While this is definitely a great thing because players from different states of India will get an invaluable experience of learning different play styles. They can also work on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The mix of different players will be a challenge for both the coaches and team managers.

A Big Shout Out for the NATIONAL CAMP

We Indians love sports and follow it with great passion. However, when it comes to Grass Root Sports, National Talent Search & Nurture is going to be the very first initiative that will mark a niche in the coming future. Considering all the aspects, NTSN is now National Sports Promotion Organization recognized by the Ministry Of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Players need to work hard to get selected for the National Camp which will offer them with a plethora of opportunities. It’s great start because it will develop a sports culture in the country that requires consistent encouragement and participation in different sports.

Let’s pledge to create winning opportunity for young players!

A Thank You Letter To My Coaches And Trainers Of #NTSN2015-16

Dear Coach,

In our lives, we meet wonderful people who mold our character for the future. These people come in different faces in different times, and never fail to give us motivational advises. For many people, such inspiration comes from their coaches or trainers. Coaches are the wisest and humble human beings who make a big difference to others life whoever comes in contact with them.

Being a coach, for any sport, at all levels is a daunting task and requires a lot of dedication and commitment. It was a lifetime opportunity and a dream come true to get selected at the National Cricket Camp U-15 organized by SSPF and SAI jointly at the SelaQui International School, Dehradun from 13th- 25 October, 2016.

Thank you COACHES!!!
Thank you COACHES!!!

I was simply awestruck with the venue of Dehradun camp which was a vast campus with lush green grounds. We were fortunate enough to get our training from highly qualified coaches and experienced trainers. Sh. Surinder Khanna, Sh. Lalit Kohli and Sh. Abdul Monayem were extremely humble and caring to us. They motivated us all throughout the camp to perform better. Our fitness trainer Sh. Avtar Singh ji along with the physiotherapist made us work out to keep healthy and stay fit by teaching wonderful fitness techniques.

The food and stay was quite comfortable. Along-with quality cricketing skills, the camp also provided us a chance to make new friends from different parts of India and share our experiences with them.


Thank you so much SSPF and SAI for such an amazing learning experience which will go a long way in shaping my future in cricket as well as in life.

Without you, I would not be the player I am today and wouldn’t have achieved success. I really feel proud to attend this camp and will work harder to make a place in the coming session 2016-17.  For everything and so much more, I will be always thankful.

Thanks and regards,

Aditya Vir Singh, Leg Spinner

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School,

Shastri Nagar, Punjab


A Letter To The 12 Year-Old Bowler Participating In NTSN2016-17

Dear Rohan,

Happy New Year from the sporty SSPF team!

Hope you are doing well.

You will be elated to know that the hat-trick Master Mr. Chetan Sharma, who created history in the World Cup in 1987, is now the honorable Chairman of National Cricket Council. And more importantly, as a cricket loving fanatic, you’ll be more happier to know that you are now playing in India’s largest Grass Roots School Sports Program.

The satisfaction in making a child smile can never be replaced by anything else. We wanted them to play good sports, they, in turn, reminded us the true spirit of playing any sport.
The satisfaction in making a child smile can never be replaced by anything else. We wanted them to play good sports, they, in turn, reminded us the true spirit of playing any sport.

We know that you are practicing for the games regularly with your dad, working at the strategies with your coach and there are times when you feel tired, but you never give up. Just know this, Sports is all about passion, hard work and determination, and we thought we’d send you a few words of advice.

We know you were playing brilliantly well in your School Cricket Team, but you should also remember you are participating in India’s largest Grass Roots School Sports Program, you will meet many talented players from all parts of India. Competition will be tough and so you will face many challenges. We believe you will make it through. You simply need to work a little harder.
To me, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. And, I know how to compete. You should know how to win.

Quote – “Practice can make you perfect”.

You can be even better. Even when your body is sore and tired, you must put the best effort to go for the odd bouncer. And that is when exactly we want you to imbibe positive energy and understand that no matter how hard it may seem, it’s your passion which will help you achieve great things in life.

My friend, keep on shining with the ball, keep bowling fast, and stop that batsman to hit a perfect six. This bat and ball will never leave you. It is one of the best weapons and you should use it in the best possible way.

It is always you who will decide what you want. Even if this letter doesn’t reach out to you, or reaches to someone else who is passionate about sports, we will consider our job done. Rohan, we do believe that you have a lot to explore in the cricket pitch. You can become a professional cricketer in the coming years. Since, cricket is one of the most special games; you will make amazing moments that you’ll treasure for the lifetime.

Best of love. Godspeed.

Sportingly yours,


NOTE: Rohan is a fictional character. It resembles all the young players who are participating in NTSN 2016-17 tournament.

Priyansh Arya balances cricket with academics

img_6548The left-handed Priyansh Arya, who caught the eye with an elegant knock of 72 off 66 balls (five fours, two sixes) in Delhi’s title victory over Uttar Pradesh and was named Player of the National Talent Search and Nurture cricket championship last month, aims to add layers to his batting and become the best he can be.

Cricket started as a hobby for Priyansh when he was not even 10 years old. He turned that into a passion when he was in fifth class in school and joined the LB Shastri Cricket Academy to be trained by renowned cricket coach Sanjay Bharadwaj. He is turning out to be a fine batsman with the hunger to get better.

For a lad who idolises Indian ace Yuvraj Singh, Priyansh sharpens his skills at the nets, sometimes stretching to four hours a day. With the support of parents – social studies teachers both, father Pawan Kumar in Kendriya Vidayalaya Shalimar Bagh and mother Rajbala in Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1 Shaktinagar – and coach, Priyansh is making his dream come true.

The good thing is that Priyansh has not compromised on his studies. The student of class 10 in Kulachi Hansraj Model School has acquitted himself well in academics also. It has allowed him to keep a mature head on his young shoulders.

Nauman Azhar helps UP edge out Haryana in quarterfinals

DSC_0065New Delhi, August 19:  Uttar Pradesh will take on Jharkhand and Delhi will battle with West Bengal in the semifinals of the National Talent Search and Nurture cricket championship, conducted by the School Sports Promotion Foundation in conjunction with Sports Authority of India, here this weekend.
In the most exciting of quarter-finals played in Sonipat this week, Nauman Azhar captured four wickets in the span of eight deliveries to help Uttar Pradesh edge out Haryana by three runs. Chasing 139 for victory, Haryana was cruising at 101 for four with seven overs left but Akashdeep’s fall slowed down the rate of scoring. The home side’s later order crumbled under pressure.
Scores (quarterfinals):
Uttar Pradesh 138 in 29.5 overs (Altatmash Khan 32, Nauman 31, Rajat two for 18, Gurmar, two for 44, Ayush two for 20, Ujjwal two for 15) beat Haryana 135 in 29.5 (Ayush 42, Akashdeep 23, Raghav 24, Amaan two for 24, Nauman Azhar four 20).
Tamil Nadu 75 for nine in 30 overs (Pintoo Yadav five for 11) lost to Jharkhand 76 for two in 11 overs (Amar Jyoti 50, Sai Sharan two for 14).
Delhi 219 for seven in 30 overs (Priyansh Arya 20, Sumit Chikara 75, Rishabh Sharma 30 not out, Tejasvi 22, Anoop Patel two for 39, Gaurav Joshi two for 35) beat Uttarakhand 110 for nine in 30 overs (Himanshu Soni43, Anoop Patel 22, Aman Jainwal four for nine, Priyansh Arya two for 31, Shivender Sharma two for 11).
Telangana 88 in 27.2 overs (Sreyan three for four, Anamjyot four for 15) lost to West Bengal 89 for five in 18.5 overs (Atriz 34, Ankur three for 21, Rohan two for 25).
Fixtures (semifinals):  August 20: Delhi vs West Bengal, Bharat Nagar ground, 9:00 am.; August 21: Uttar Pradesh v Jharkhand, Vikas Puri ground, 9:00.a.m.; August 22: Final, Bharat Nagar ground, 9-00 a.m.

Abhishek Chandel believes he can emulate Suresh Raina

The hours at practice and the hours his tireless father has sent a series of throws-down combined with his own passion and determination have made Udaipur’s Abhishek Chandel one of the brightest spots of the National Talent Search and Nurture cricket tournament, conducted by the School Sports Promotion Foundation in tandem with the Sports Authority of India.

An innings of 229 off just 84 deliveries for St. Anthony’s Senior Secondary School against Rockwoods High School contributed nearly half the 442 runs that the left-hander scored in the district and State level competitions but he lifted his game when his team needed in the crucial play-off games against Jaipur and Jodhpur to help Udaipur emerge Rajasthan champion.

The young Sures h Raina of SSPF !

The knocks of 43 off 15 deliveries against Jaipur in the semifinal and 59 off 50 deliveries against Jodhpur in the final were evidence of his batting according to the situation and providing the thrust to his team’s score. It appears inevitable that he would be picked for the Rajasthan team to play in the National championship in Sonepat and Delhi in August.

His 442 runs place him among top five run-scorers in NTSN’s inaugural edition. Then again, he has not got to this stage without hard work and the ability to balance his love of sport and his studies. Two hours practice in the morning before school, special tuitions and then three hours again for the Class XI student of St. Anthony’s Senior Secondary School.

Being a student of commerce, Abhishek wants to be a successful chartered accountant. However, he has chosen physical education as an additional subject as he wants to follow his passion along with studies. “I love cricket. My favorite player is Suresh Raina. I am also a left-handed batsman and a part-time off-spinner like him,” he said.

Apart from matches for his school, Abhishek has been training under coach Manoj Choudhary at the Wonders’ Cricket Academy for three years. But he says the NTSN tournament helped him mature as a player. “The tournament brought in seriousness to my game and I have started working on my techniques more seriously,” he said.

Play, Passion, PItch

It helps that Abhishek’s father, Mangi Lal Chandel, is a Physical Education Teacher in a Government school. “Whenever my father gets time, he helps me with my knocking. He also comes to watch my matches and tells me to learn and refine my game,” he said, pride bursting forth from his heart.

He says his mother sometimes pressures to perform as well in school as he does in cricket since she is concerned about his health and diet. Yet, at the same time she has full faith in his son that his focus will help him overcome challenges like a champion.

Top scorer Shaurya Singh draws joy from setting up goals too

New Delhi: Shaurya Singh is preparing for a career in law but when he dons his football gear, his focus on the task on hand is really sharp. It has led him to 14 goals and to set up nine goals for his team-mates in the inaugural season of the SSPF National Talent Search and Nurture football competition. Sitting at the top of the goal-scorers’ list.

HIghest Goal Scorer for NTSN season 1

The deft striker scored seven goals in five matches for Rukmani Birla Modern School and nine goals in three games for the Jaipur District team to emerge as a player to watch when the State sides come together to compete in the National level tournament in August. The 15-year-old, encouraged by his parents, has straddled school and sports with dexterity.

“I love Cristiano Ronaldo for his aggression. He has had his share of criticism but always he loves winning for his team,” says Shaurya Singh, pointing out how the Portugal skipper was egging his team-mates on despite having to go off the pitch just 24 minutes into the final of the European Championship final against host France.

jaipur 18
This is team work

He said the camp for the district team helped the players come together as one, despite hailing from different schools. “We had seen one another play and figured out one another’s strengths but the district camp enabled us get our co-ordination in place,” he said. “I think situations like these will prepare us for not only our football careers but also life beyond sport.”

In fact, Shaurya Singh says football has taught him a lot. “It has sharpened my mental skills and that has helped me with my studies as well,” he says. “It has enhanced my confidence and allows me find a good balance between sport and studies. I am so glad I get to play in such tournaments and am looking forward to the inter-State competition now.”

jaipur winner team
Shaurya Singh bought real ‘Shaurya’ to team

One of the things that he has clearly learnt well is to be able to score at opportune times and pass the ball to those placed in a better position to score “Our coaches, especially Gajanand Pillai sir have always taught us that football is a team game and that selfish play can ruin a team’s chances of winning matches as collective unit,” he says.

Vardaan Dutt epitomises beauty of team work on football field

New Delhi: Vardhaan Dutt, who is credited with the most assists in the inaugural football season of the SSPF’s National Talent Search and Nurture (NTSN) program and has made it to the list of India probables for the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament next year, personifies team spirit on and off the football pitch.

SSPF football hero

With 11 assists in four games, Vardaan Dutt is a joint leader with school mate Namandeep Singh. The India aspirant has also scored six goals, showcasing his all round skills. His performances caught the eye of talent scouts, leading to his being among a select band of four from Jammu and Kashmir who were among the 200 chosen from North Zone for an assessment camp.

The KC Public School X class student, who will be 16 in September and seeks to make football his career, says his coaches Moon Stephen and Dil Bahadur instilled the idea of passing the ball to a team-mate in a better position. “There is so much joy in helping the team score goals and win,” he says, having embraced that philosophy very early in his nascent career.

Vardaan Dutt in action

Having started off on football merely as a hobby when he was 12, Vardaan Dutt was hooked on to the game when he trained with the Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools center in his school. He has risen not only to captain the Jammu and Kashmir junior team but also be picked as a probable for the India under-17 team to play in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India next year.


A fan of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Vardaan Dutt says that playing football has taught him a great deal about life. “The skills I have learnt when playing the game will benefit me,” he says. “For example, when playing for Jammu District in the State competition, I had to team up with boys I played against in the district event – and even set up a goal for Tanshu Thakyal.”

With his parents backing his footballing dreams, it is a good guess that Vardaan Dutt will continue his passionate pursuit of the sport that he has come to love so much.

NTSN seeds Khageshwar Tangulu’s football dreams

From kicking around a football, stuffed polythene in one bag actually, in a remote Odisha village to being picked to represent the State in the National Talent Search and Nurture football competition of the School Sports Promotion Foundation has been an exhilarating journey for 15-year-old Khageshwar Tangulu.

KHAGESHWAR , one of the most talented football players of MALKANGIRI district.

Wearing Jersey No. 7 – like his idol, Argentina star Lionel Messi – Khageshwar has excelled as an attacking midfielder for Ekalavya Modern Residential School, Malkangiri. The 15-year-old scored five goals and engineered two assists in helping his team emerge champion of the district in the NTSN tournament.

Look at his style of play. Isn’t he the YOUNG MESSI?

There was no electricity, let alone cable and satellite TV in the Badapada village in Kudumulagamma block where Khageshwar grew up. It did not matter that he grew up in a village with less than 1000 people in 154 households. Yet, there was no shortage of passion for football. A 65km shift to the district headquarters has helped him pursue football more intensely.


He now wants to make his mother, who collects firewood and other forest produce in the Khairput Forest Range to make ends meet, and his school proud by expressing himself on the football field. “I know I can do well because I know I am the best in the teams I play for,” he says. “I know I can make my mother proud by playing good football.”

The Tenth Standard student is hungry to showcase his skills at the national level, too. “I am looking forward to representing Odisha in the National tournament,” he says, revealing that the farther he has traveled from Malkangiri is to the State Capital, Bhubaneshwar for a cricket trial. “I was not selected but now I will travel beyond Odisha. I really want to play the best I can.”

And, by all accounts, the entire Malkangiri district is excited about this lad’s progress. Social worker Sankar Khiti, who doubles up as NTSN District Coordinator, believes Khageshwar’s success will encourage many other tribal boys in the district to take up education and balance their dreams in a backward district severely affected by Naxalite presence.

The Malkangiri School’s Principal Umesh Chandra Mohapatra and Physical Education Teacher, Prakash Kumar Patel, have played no mean role in encouraging Khageshwar play football. “He is a natural talent. When he is not in class, he loves to be kicking a football around all the time. The good thing is that he thinks of his team and is a leader on the pitch,” says Patel.