Ahmedabad, June 27 (IANS) The Adani Group has announced its long-term initiative to discover and nurture world-class athletes in India. ''Garv Hai'', named after the group''s pilot project built around the Rio Olympics 2016, is a nationwide programme that aims to reach out and empower stakeholders in the sports fraternity.
Starting May 15, ''Garv Hai'' has started receiving applications from athletes, coaches, sports academies etc. across multiple sports. The massive exercise spanning across 29 states, 100 cities and catering to up to 5,000 entries aims to handpick 15+ potential athletes with the passion to make it big. Till date, this initiative has received more than 3,000 entries.
"India is witnessing an unprecedented upsurge in sports sentiments. While the government has rolled out several new opportunities for potential sportspersons, as a responsible corporate we feel it is our national duty to extend our arms and bolster the changing narrative. With ''Garv Hai'', we want to stand by budding sports stars, become a part of their journey and celebrate their glory," said Pranav Adani, Director, Adani Enterprises Ltd.
''Garv Hai'' opens a massive opportunity for sportspersons aged above 14 years planning a career in individual sports. Aspirants, however, would undergo a stringent process including a grading system based on previous achievements followed by qualitative and quantitative feedback by Anglian Medal Hunt, which is a sports management agency specialising in conducting grassroots talent scouting programmes. Anglian Medal Hunt targets bringing glory to India on international sporting platform.
The selected candidates would get significant training aid to pursue their dreams. The long-term incubation programme aims to groom two sets of athletes, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Asian and Commonwealth Games probables and junior athletes for the future.
The list of sports to be supported includes archery, athletics, boxing, shooting and wrestling.
Beneficiaries of the ''Garv Hai'' pilot project in 2016 include Ankita Raina (tennis), Pinki Rani (boxing), Sanjeevani Jadhav (athletics), Maliaka Goel (shooting), Mandeep Jangra (boxing), Inderjeet Singh (athletics), Khushbir Kaur (athletics) and Shiva Thapa (boxing).
Sharing her experience about ''Garv Hai'', Ankita said, "For any athlete to get an opportunity to compete at the international level is a dream. Many of them with enormous potential have not realised their dreams just because of paucity of funds and therefore they miss out on the medals.
"Coming from a humble background, it was difficult to for me to compete in the required number of tournaments. Even after being a national women''s champion at an young age of 16, I was not able to travel much to play the junior ITF circuit but somehow managed to get my ranking in top 200 with the few opportunities I got."
She further said, "Though I missed on the experience of international circuit in juniors, two other things that happened in my career helped me reach my goals. I thank SAG and Adani Group for supporting me at the right juncture in my tennis journey. I look forward to seeing their continued and enhanced support in order to make my Olympic 2020 dream come true."
Pinki Jangra, who has won accolades for India in boxing, said, "I''m glad to have been a part of the ''Garv Hai'' initiative. They looked after me very well. The support I received from Adani Group in the past for my training was of great help.
"It went towards paying for my off-season training camps, physiotherapy, nutrition, equipment and other such expenses. I did not have to focus my energies on such areas and could concentrate fully on my training and improving my technique."