New Delhi, May 28 (IANS): Rishikesh Joshi and Vishwas Choksi, two individuals have taken a key step eight years ago to revolutionise the sporting culture and support the empowerment of grassroots sports in schools in India, by founding the organisation called 'Sports for All' (SFA).
Since its inception in 2015, SFA has enabled 12 Championships at Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Uttarakhand, across 28 sporting disciplines, with the participation of 200,000 athletes and more than 4000 schools.
"It is always been a long-term vision to be able to stitch up a unifying platform for school sports across the country. There are a lot of things that need to come together to be able to do that," said Joshi, who is a national-level swimmer.
SFA Championships is an inter-school city-based model, where 15,000 plus kids between the age of 5 and 17 can take part.
Last year SFA hosted four championships, bringing school sports alive in Hyderabad, Pune and Uttarakhand and this year they're going to 10 different cities. The SFA founder-duo is planning to take it to 40 different cities by 2028.
"We have 15,000 athletes in one SFA championship and we're going to do ten such championships in four months, so we're gonna do 10 championships -- larger than the Olympics -- in four months," said Vishwas, who is a Chemical Engineer.
"What the Olympics does once in four years, we're doing 10 of them in four months," he added.
SFA is the leading sports entrepreneurial venture empanelled with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the official partner of Team India under the aegis of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and sponsors the Khelo India Youth Games, for the next 5 years (until 2028 editions).
Previously, SFA has also managed editions of the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune, Assam, and Odisha.
The SFA Championships were instituted to showcase the potential of large-scale multi-sporting competitions propelled by tech and data analytics.
"We specialise in school sports but at the same time we have the expertise to do the Khelo India Games and National Games across the sports, so multisport is pretty much our experience. But the biggest factor we bring is that it is a technology backed.
"When it is a technology backed, the efficiency increases big time. The scoring, talent mapping, and the athlete experience are something where we are being able to play an integral role.
"At SFA, technology, data analytics, match videography all of these things are very new when it comes to school sports. Its impact has helped children prepare for events like Khelo India and National Games," Rishikesh explained.
SFA has determinedly focused on transforming sporting championships at the grassroots level, by providing an inclusive, diverse, safe, and best-in-class platform for the youth to realise their fullest potential through sports.