HCL Foundation, which delivers the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda for HCLTech in India, and the Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust (ABFT) have joined forces to identify young sports talentfrom underserved communities across India and provide them advanced training to help them compete in national and international sports championships.
Under the partnership, HCL Foundation and ABFT have selected 45 sportspersons in the 10-16 years age group. These athletes represent diverse sports that include football, athletics, basketball, kabaddi, cricket, rugby, boxing and volleyball. Of these, 10 athletes with significant potential will be part of ABFT’s one-year STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Analytics, Medicine) program, which provides high-performance training and development in coordination with their coaches at the ABFT centers in Bengaluru and Delhi. The program encompasses physiotherapy, mental health, injury management, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning. The remaining 35 athletes will be part of ABFT’s Scientific Assessment Program, which provides customized training plans for athletes and coaches. The ABFT team will also conduct regular capacity-building sessions for coaches on the importance of assessments, the use of data for talent identification, injury management and nutrition for athletes.
The partnership with ABFT is part of HCL Foundation’s Sports for Change initiative which focuses on balanced participation, excellence and holistic development for children and youth from disadvantaged communities. To date, 27,000+ children and young sportspersons have benefited from the program. While 13 sportspersons supported through this initiative have represented India at international championships, another 42 participated in national-level competitions. HCL Foundation Sports Scholar, Jerlin Anika, became India’s first woman Deaflympian to receive the Arjuna Award in 2022 for her achievements in badminton. Jerlin won three gold medals at the 2022 Deaflympics in Brazil while representing India. She also won six gold medals at the Asia Pacific Youth Badminton Championships and Asia Pacific Deaf Badminton Championships in Thailand.
“We are excited to join hands with the HCL Foundation on this groundbreaking initiative towards empowering the sports ecosystem in India. Our goal is to establish an enduring ecosystem that fosters the growth and empowerment of athletes, enabling them to achieve the highest levels of sporting success. With an inclusive approach, the program focuses on athletes from disadvantaged communities and provides a scientifically structured and holistic training and development program that is affordable and accessible to all,” said Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Champion & Founder, Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust. Bindra is the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal.
“Our partnership with the Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust will empower young athletes with the necessary resources and mentoring to unlock their full potential. Through the integration of high-performance training and technology-oriented scientific assessments within the framework of global best practices, we aim to establish an Olympics Development Program geared towards producing top-class international athletes. The collaboration underscores our unwavering dedication to sports development and belief in harnessing the transformative potential of sports,” said Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation.
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