At a time when multiple voices are clamouring to dissolve the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), ICSE schools, under the banner of the grassroot organisation, has been mulling over school level competitions for kids in its schools with a long term agenda of identifying talent at a young stage.
It has been decided that the The Council for the India School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) will be conducting a multi-tier, multi sport competition for all the schools affiliated to it. According to The Telegraph, this is set to be an annual event for the Council thus replacing its previous structure which was not affiliated with SGFI in the first place.
As per the initial blueprints, for the competition, it is set to take place over three stages- zonal, regional and national. This information was procured by The Telegraph after a conversation with a school principal. The winners will form a part of the handpicked team that will represent the Council at the National School Games organised by SGFI.
The SGFI has recently come under the scanner by the Sports Ministry of India for the role the former organisation played in the negligence that eventually caused the death of a 15-year old footballer in Adelaide during the Pacific School Games. The outrage had grown to be such that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had even called for the organisation to be dismissed based on the following reason.
“Since SGFI acted outside the purview of their Memorandum of Agreement by sending the contingent for the Games without any authorisation of government of India, ministry of youth affairs and sports, their recognition may be suspended and they should be issued a show cause notice.”
Currently for the ICSE tournament, however, nineteen sports have been selected for the competition. These include They include football, cricket, hockey, badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, basketball, volley ball, athletics, kho-kho, karate, carrom, yoga, taekwondo, kabaddi, skating and chess, a source said to The Telegraph.
The same report quotes that the competition will be held across two age groups, the U17 and the U19- a practice similar to the Khelo India School Games which in turn, has faced scrutiny regarding a structural similarity with the National School Games.
All said and done, this would be a great opportunity for the students of ICSE schools to make a mark at the grassroot level only to further improve the performance and test their limits regarding how high they can go. However, in the present climate, the redundancy and functionality of SGFI still remains a major issue. One has no option but to wait for further clarity on the issue.