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How Ambuja Cement Foundation is promoting sports at the grassroot level

On the roadmap to develop sports at the nascent and grassroot stages, Ambuja Cement has implemented multiple initiatives in a bid to bolster the efforts.

How Ambuja Cement Foundation is promoting sports at the grassroot level

Pearl Tiwari

Updated: 25 July 2021 6:04 AM GMT

On the roadmap to develop sports at the preliminary and grassroot level, the Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) has implemented initiatives. The ACF, through the 'Make India Play' initiative is promoting sports activities amongst the youth from various walks of life, providing all the necessary requirements for their growth.

A regular monitoring of schools has been carried out by ACF field staff along with mid-term assessments. On the basis of results of this pilot project, ACF hopes to scale the initiative in the future. We glance through the contributions of ACF as they strive towards building India as an improved sporting nation.

The Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) also joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to rollout and nurture sports enthusiasts at the school level. A 3-day Physical Education Teacher (PET) training workshop was also conducted at the Government Senior Secondary School in Darlaghat to train teachers on curriculum along with techniques, games and assessment processes.

Ten primary and upper primary schools in Darlaghat (Himachal Pradesh) are promoting sports activities amongst boys and girls, in collaboration with CII, who provided the Curriculum and Teacher Training for the project.

Chief Guests meet the first batch of students

From Punjab to Special Olympics

In 1999, ACF transformed a special school in Ropar, Punjab believing that sports had a power to transpire change. They identified 10 children at the centre, calling it the Ambuja Manovikas Kendra (AMK) and started training them in sports like badminton, cycling and athletics. Despite initial barriers, the first batch of students donned the Indian Uniform and headed off to Dublin in 2003. Shock and sheer jubilation, spread across Ropar when a local girl won Gold and Silver in Badminton.

AMK was suddenly flooded with appreciation letter from all over the state government, individuals and other organizations. In 2011, AMK students came home from Athens, Greece with a haul of 8 medals including 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze in Cycling, Athletics and Badminton. And again in 2015, students won Gold and Bronze in Cycling and Basketball respectively. 2017 saw the first batch of students attend the World Winter Special Olympics in Austria with two heroes securing silver and bronze medals for India. Of the original 10 athletes trained, 4 have been rehabilitated, 3 are working full time and earning for their families and the remaining are still continuing with AMK.

Extra-Curricular Accolades for AMK:

  • 4 athletes from the Punjab Floor Hockey team won a Gold medal at the National Championships for the 13th Consecutive year in a row.
  • AMK won the overall championship trophy for the best institute of the state in sports in the 21st Punjab State Special Olympics games in 2018 taking home over 30 Gold Medals.
  • A senior student was a member of the Indian Unified Female Football team that participated in the World Cup held in Chicago.
  • The Government of Punjab has also acknowledged and felicitated a senior student with the Best Sportsperson in Disability

Ambuja Kanya Kabaddi Academy: To Boost Talent of Village Girls through Sports

The Ambuja Kanya Kabaddi Academy (AKKA) was inaugurated on 2nd August 2019 with an initiative of enrolling girls from nearby villages of Marwa Mundwa (Nagaur District) Rajasthan. The objective of the academy was to boost the talent of rural girls through sports on a national and international level. ACF has been building sustainable, prosperous and rural communities by executing projects in areas such as women, water, skill, education and health. Sports is one such sector that will run through the women and education vertical helping empower women thereby making them capable for a brighter tomorrow.

Mission: Select 30 girls from community of Marwar Mundwa and nearby villages and retain them till they become adroit in sports, so that they can prove their abilities to represent Nagaur

Vision: Through research and stakeholder engagement with community influencers and women of the district, ACF realized there was a huge gap when it came to sports in villages such as Marwar Mundwa and others in the Nagaur district. Most people in these areas are depended on agriculture for a livelihood. There is a lot of talent and passion among the girls to pursue sports, however, it has not been given a proper direction. Moreover, the village men are not supportive of letting women enter sports or make any form of career because of which there is lack of resources for the girls to achieve their dream. Since ACF is already working with women, a sports intervention was introduced developing will power amongst them and building true sportsmanship. These girls are now being provided with quality training and support from professional coaches in kabaddi. In addition, a set nutritious diet is also being provided

A friendly match being played by the students

Sports interventions at Jiwati Block in Chandrapur

Due to an increased demand for games and physical training in schools, ACF encouraged games sessions at block level, with students participating in full enthusiasm and felicitating the winners with prizes and trophies. Students participated in Taluka level sport competitions like athletics and were also funded to participate in block level sports competitions. Since the socio-economic conditions of the people in the block is very low, ACF decided to provide support helping them organize many more sport activities in the area.

Drug rehabilitation campaign through sports

With Indian sports marred with incidents of frequent drug injectors, ACF also devised awareness programs in Ropar district, in Punjab reaching out to youth clubs, sport clubs and truckers. This was initiated through sports tournaments, street plays and puppet shows and through camps in collaboration with the health department. 8 sports and 150 youth club members were involved in drug rehabilitation campaign through sports tournaments and awareness programs around 2000 community members and drivers aware through these programs.

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