How AU Foundation’s Sports for Development program is aiding in society’s development?
Sports is clearly not just a career option but it also plays a very crucial role in the development of the all-rounded personality of children. AU Foundation’s Sports for Development program encourages children to come and play team games like basketball and football. These sports increase their chance to also engage in activities which would provide mental and physical growth along with discipline thus resulting in their holistic development. This can also help in boosting self-confidence and reducing stress from children’s lives in today’s competitive world. Respecting one’s opponent, thinking as a team, leadership, and learning the spirit of the game are just some of the skills that children learn at the ground.
AU is a firm believer of the fact that sports play a pivotal role in an individual’s life and how sports inculcate discipline and team spirit in oneself. As the CSR arm of AU Bank, AU Foundation is trying to help, serve and support children and spread awareness regarding sports and its implications. Our idea of working for the welfare of children gets fulfilled with our Sports for Development program where we use sports as an incentive to contribute towards children’s development. AU Foundation is working dedicatedly to make sports accessible and easy for children.
Under this program, an underlying focus is on children between the ages of 6 to 17 and for maximum reach out, the program has been divided into three projects namely:
AU Bank Sports Village – The Sports for Development program was initiated with the establishment of AU Bank Sports Village, a place where children from neighbouring areas come together to get trained in sports and engage in activities that are focused around their growth. Currently, sports village is being operated in two locations: Delhi NCR and Mahapura, Jaipur being the oldest location.
Sports in Slums – Under this particular project of AU Sports for Development program, the coaches of AU Foundation, along with their sports kit bags travel to slum areas, and train the children over there for free. This helps underprivileged children to grow and learn more about sports in their surrounding areas where no such facilities are available. The coaches travel to untouched areas of the Jaipur region twice a week and gather 25-30 kids for an hour’s session consisting of newspaper reading time, fun-team activities, sports drill and physical fitness covering stretching, running and more.
Sports in Slum Schools – The schools in slum dwelling areas are not much emphasized about how sports can do wonders in a child’s life. So the trainers of AU Foundation, hold seminars and highlight the importance of sports in schools. AU Foundation also encourages the school authorities to introduce a sports period where trainers would train the students for free. With these efforts, the children are getting fascinated by the idea of sports in their school life as a result of which the attendance of students has also increased. AU Foundation has tied up with Holy Star English High School & Nutan Vidya Mandir in Mumbai and with Prem Mandir Sansthan & Children Home in Jaipur for the implementation of the project.
Throughout our journey, we made sure that the Sports for Development program should not only be about training children in sports but should also cover other parameters that can help children to grow overall in life as well, such as providing the right opportunities, taking care of their nutrition intake, inculcating discipline and helping them to adopt productive habits.
We feel, there is an immense pool of talent hidden in various layers of society but unfortunately some of them do not have the resources or opportunities to shine. To provide such opportunities through Sports for Development program, we have tied up with Jodhpur Boxing & Wushu Association and Gramin Shiksha Kendra, an NGO in Sawai Madhopur in order to help the students to participate in state-level and national-level tournaments and help them in following their passion of sports by making available the required human resources and providing sports equipment.
Along with focusing on the holistic development of children, AU Foundation through various sports activities also targets children’s need and understanding about nutrition. Students are provided with nutritional diet like milk & bananas on a regular basis.
Through our program, mainly AU Sports in Slums project, we realised that as children from different castes start to play together with equal participation from girls and boys, communal harmony and integration in a society strongly increases. As a result of which, there is no idea of any kinds of barriers like religion, tribes or castes that prevails in children. Hence, AU Foundation’s Sports Development program has helped to remove animosity among people of different castes and religions.
AU Foundation’s Sports for Development program has successfully completed one year with 19 centres in operation at 5 locations through which 3200+ students have benefitted till now. At AU we believe in the power of sports and the important role it plays in one’s life. We constantly encourage and provide opportunities to our team & beneficiaries of our programs to inculcate sports in their life. At AU, we hope to contribute to society’s development and keep the sportsman spirit alive.