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Sensitisation through Rural Sports Coaching Centres

A school can provide the foundation for sporting talent, but nurturing the desire to excel in the field needs more infrastructure. Schools that serve so many subjects may not be able to hone sporting skills uniformly. Rural Sports Coaching Centres therefore ensure that facilities are available across the district.

Well before RDT even had a dedicated Sports sector, it was involved in Sports Education to a great degree in the district by providing quality sports material to various rural government high schools and village youth cricket teams.

This came about because of many young Physical Education teachers who came forward to request RDT’s help in their school’s sports curriculum, which RDT did, via provision of training equipment and kits.

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Vicente Ferrer
Founder - RDT

These schools became the nurseries which produced budding players who later came into RDT’s academies. It was the various school and village clubs which yielded footballers for the football academy since 2010, and produced students for Judo academy in 2015. Needless to say, the boys and girls that came into RDT’s hockey & cricket academies also came from these schools and clubs which earlier received support from RDT. Today, RDT is in the process of building a softball team from promising students across schools.

It became obvious that any sport could flourish if it has quality infrastructure and coaching at the grassroots level. This resulted in the idea of ‘rural sports centres’ with coaches who were part of RDT staff and were internally trained and supervised by RDT with training gear and equipment provided by RDT for all centres. The selection process for each centre is managed by their respective RDT coaches.

14 school programmes run across Ananthapuram district. Periodic visits are made by the regional centre RDT coaches to assess and guide the athletes and PE teachers on their development. Athletes representing these schools participate annually in the SGFI (School Competitions) at district, state and national levels.

Between 2010-13, cricket coaching centres with RDT appointed coaches were started at Kadiri , Gandlapenta, Bathalapalli, Dharmavaram, Penukonda, Kalyandurg, Rayadurg, Guntakal, Gooty, Tadipatri, Narpala, BK Samudram and Atmakur.  These centres are fertile selection grounds for cricketing talent at the Under-14 and Under-19 levels. At each centre, athletes have access to matted Cricket nets, gravel field and a dedicated coach.

The athletes who are part of these RDT Cricket centres participate annually in the SGFI (School Competitions), Rural Cricket Tournament (Organised by RDT).

22 Mandal Football clubs run across Ananthapuram district providing access to a football ground and a dedicated coach for each Mandal club. Around 1600 players participated in Anantapur Football League (including 400 girls and 1200 boys) in 2017-18 season.

 45 school Judo programmes across Ananthapuram district with RDT providing access to training mats in 14 schools. Athletes representing these schools participate annually in the RGKA (Rural Competitions), SGFI (School Competitions), University and Open (Federation) Competitions at district, state and national levels.

STAFF SPEAK
 

“Aside from the work done at ASV and the support provided to the schools’ sports curriculum, the rural centres run by RDT are instrumental in polishing the skills of talented youngsters across many sports, to the level where they can be taken to ASV for national-level training. From ASV, many children have gone on to excel at state, national and even international level competitions with some even being professional athletes now. These opportunities were unthinkable to them before RDT’s support”

N. Sardar
Cricket Coach, Atmakur Development Centre

SUCCESS STORY
 

B. Anusha: A Shining Example Of The Rise Of Indian Girls In Cricket:

Coming from the remote village of Bandlapalli (Anantapur), B Anusha was introduced to cricket by the physical education teacher in her school in 2014. Everything changed when she decided to take part in a rural cricket tournament organised by the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA).

No sooner had she thought about it did she participate in the tournament. Her performances left the academy selectors amazed – and she was offered a scholarship by ASA to receive coaching and educational support. ASA is a sport-for-development initiative working towards empowering rural children in Andhra Pradesh. After becoming a part of ASA, Anusha, through her hard work, accomplished several feats and also broke gender stereotypes prevailing in this region.

We had a chat with her about her journey.

Q: Anusha, could you tell us about how you started playing cricket?

A: It all started when I was in class 7. My physical education (PE) teacher encouraged me to play cricket and to take part in the rural cricket tournament at the Anantapur Sports Village. I was the ‘Best Player’ of the tournament. That helped me get selected in the ASA Cricket Academy. Since then, I have continued my passion for cricket, day and night.

Q: How does it feel to captain the Under-16 Andhra Pradesh team?

A: It is a great feeling – and at the same time, it has also made me more responsible while taking charge of the side.

Q: Recently, you played in the BCCI Under-19 Women’s League. How was that experience?

My performance in the Andhra Pradesh under-16 team got me selected in the squad. It was an important tournament in my career and a learning experience for me. We won the league after playing a tough match against Mumbai on November 30, 2017 at Guntur. Moreover, I got to practise with many India A players and also learn from them.

Q: Could you tell us about your family? What were the difficulties you faced initially, when you started playing cricket?

A: My parents are daily wage labourers and I have a elder brother. Coming from a humble background, initially, I didn’t have proper gears and kit. But, on seeing my progress, the ASA cricket programme provided me the necessary support, as regards cricket coaching. They also supported me in my education.

Q: What targets have you set for yourself for 2019? What will be your ultimate dream?

In 2019, I plan to have more of exposure and to stretch my fitness levels even further. My ultimate dream would be to represent the Indian cricket team and inspire more girls to take up sports and play for their country.

Q: As an all-rounder, which is your favourite skill in cricket?

My favourite bowling trick is the off-cutter. While batting, it is the off-side cover drive.

Q: Who are your role models/players you look up to?

They are Mithali Raj (captain of the Indian women’s cricket team) and Harmanpreet Kaur (an all-rounder in the team).

Q: We heard that you met Mahendra Singh Dhoni recently? How and when did you meet him?

A: We were practising in the cricket nets in Ranchi, Jharkhand for the BCCI Under-19 league. MS Dhoni also happened to be practising on the same ground. On seeing our practice session, he wished us best of luck for our future matches. We also managed to get an autograph.

Q: How has sports changed your life?

A: It has provided me with multiple opportunities to excel in sports and even in my studies. It has instilled in me the confidence to face problems in life. Moreover, it has helped me to work together in a team and to communicate better with others.

PARADIGM SHIFT
 

Games were restricted to traditional ones and played only in childhood. Daily adult life became only about providing for one’s family. Today, every child is afforded the opportunity to try for a range of sports, identify what they like and/or excel in and go on to train formally in it. That child’s progress can be taken to its highest level.

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