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GoSports Foundation launches Education Programme for Athletes

GoSports Foundation launches Education Programme for Athletes through which it aims to empower young athletes with the access to knowledge.

Aparna Popat delivering the keynote address

August 29, 2015, Bangalore: On the occasion of National Sports Day, city-based sports NGO, GoSports Foundation announced the launch of its Athletes’ Education Programme. The Programme was launched by former Badminton Player Aparna Popat, followed by a panel discussion with former cricketer Sujith Somasunder, Nutritionist Dr. Shama Kittur, renowned storyteller Aparna Athreya and Saisudha Sugavanam, Programme Director of GoSports Foundation.

Presented by Tandem Allied Services, this Programme imparts essential life skills for athletes with a focus on their emotional and holistic development, to produce Smarter Athletes for tomorrow! This Programme provides a platform for budding sportspersons to learn from top athletes, leading mental conditioning experts, fitness trainers, sports nutritionists, and experts in other allied areas of sports science and sports management professionals.

The Programme curriculum, developed in consultation with Aparna Popat, the Programme Mentor, sports science experts and leading educationists, aims to expose young athletes to foundational concepts in sports medicine, mental training, fitness, injury prevention and management.

Learning will be facilitated through fortnightly knowledge building workshop sessions, and regular follow-ups are planned to help athletes incorporate the learning into their routines. In addition to all this, the athletes will also participate in activity-based sessions to help them de-stress.

Speaking about the initiative, Aparna Popat said, “As a player, I was always very inquisitive and never shied away from asking questions. I have gained a lot of knowledge through these interactions with my coaches and seniors. Through this programme, we are providing a platform for athletes to learn from the best experts in their field, and expand their horizons. This will, eventually, shape them into better competitors.”

The 2-year long programme is divided into eight, 3-month long modules. While the first module focuses on emotional intelligence, the second module exposes the athletes to the fundamentals of sports science. The third module aids in their overall personality development, while the fourth module focuses on career planning and management. Modules 5 to 8 in the second year of the programme will cover advanced concepts in the same areas.

The athletes have been divided into 2 groups – Under-15 and above 15 – to help structure the sessions to suit their specific needs. The Education Programme also engages parents and coaches to help them understand and respond better to the demands of grooming a high-performing athlete. 

A panel discussion on The Challenges Faced by Young Indian Athletes; L-R: Saisudha Sugavanam, Dr. Shama Kittur, Sujith Somasundar, Aparna Athreya, and Girish Manimaran

Mr. Arun Kumar, Managing Director of Tandem Allied Services, the sponsors for the programme said, “We have been supporting GoSports Foundation for five years now. Through this association, we have provided scholarships to some fine young sportspersons.”

“Now, we are happy to be embarking together on a project that has a much wider reach and has the potential to impact the overall sporting scenario. We are proud to be a part of this Athletes’ Education Programme that fosters a culture of learning and knowledge-sharing to equip athletes with information to help them make smarter career choices.” 

Elaborating on GoSports Foundation’s vision behind launching this initiative, Saisudha Sugavanam, Programme Director, GoSports Foundation, said, “The demanding training and tournament schedules of young athletes leaves them with very little time for other activities or even regular school.”

“This Programme is a way of bridging this gap by providing them access to knowledge that is practical and useful for them while also aiding in their social and emotional development. We also want to engage the parents and coaches and help them deal effectively with the challenges they face, and help build a supportive, athlete-centred ecosystem.”

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