Bengaluru : To discover sporting talent in the country and nurture champions of future with world-class facilities, India’s first-ever integrated school for sports and academics, The Sports School (TSS) on Friday launched a 2021-22 National Scholarship Program.
The Sports School’s 2021-22 National Scholarship Program will be awarded to close to 60 eligible students who will receive the scholarship across four sports—cricket, football, tennis and basketball.
The announcement was made on Friday during a virtual press conference in the presence of champion athletes and The Sports School partners – Rohan Bopanna, top Indian tennis star, world-cup wining cricketer Robin Uthappa along with Mandar Tamhane, CEO of India’s top football club JSW Bengaluru FC and partner for The Sports School Football Academy. John Mahesh Rao, head coach of The Sports School Basketball Academy and TSS Director Dr Sankar UV were also present during the launch.
“Today sports are not just played as a hobby but it is now looked at as career option too. With a sports-driven academic curriculum we believe students find the balance between sports and study. And this scholarship program will give us an opportunity to discover sporting talent from every corner of the country who, with the help of the champion mentors, can be groomed to become the future heroes and represent India as well as are equipped with an academic career to back them,” Dr Sankar UV, Director of The Sports School said at the launch.
The scholarship program will be offered to students in the age category of U-12, U-14 and U-16 on basis of their potential in the sport. The candidates will be evaluated based on their attitude, aptitude, commitment, sporting achievements and their performance in the trials, to be held in the month of January and based on the evaluation, the scholarships will range in between 25% to 100% covering sports training and academics fees. The final list of scholarships will be drawn under the watchful eyes of the champion mentors and TSS administration.
“I’m glad that this scholarship program will be a great opportunity to reach out to the talented kids who give up on their dreams of a tennis career due to lack of financial support and opportunities. With this scholarship I believe the players, who have AITA ranking and want to pursue the sport at the highest level, will get the right training and guidance along with quality education,” said the Asian Games gold medallist, Bopanna, who is also the chief mentor of TSS and founder of Rohan Bopanna TSS Tennis Academy.
The 27-acre campus in Bengaluru is equipped with sporting facilities of international standards. The School started in 2019 and have already won the confidence of the fraternity with their unique approach towards education. In 2020, FICCI recognised them with the Best Education Institute Promoting Sports, thereby endorsing this holistic yet customised pursuit towards sporting excellence and uncompromised academic approach.
“For instance, when there was 2007 cricket world cup in West Indies, I was in my final year of BCom and I missed my final year exams because I was at the World Cup but when I came back and only the following year I could sit for the exam that too after I had gone through the special classes and that I wrote the exams. But this we don’t have to do in The Sports School, we make sure that we integrate education with sports,” Uthappa, a chief mentor of TSS Cricket Academy, said.
In a bid to be the best, TSS has tied up with the experts and champions of the game and their football partner, Bengaluru FC has scripted many success stories for Indian Football with their robust youth development programmes. While the former ISL Champion is home club for the India’s most successful footballer and skipper Sunil Chhetri, the Blues’ grassroots development initiatives have earned accolades from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well.
“At Bengaluru FC, our aim is to improve Indian football by scouting talent and bringing them under one roof where our Youth Development Programme gives them the best possible opportunity to grow as players. We are the only Club-operated Academy to receive the two-star rating by the AFC, and adding these young ones to our system and later our first team is the goal. Our partnership with The Sports School widens our talent pool, and the boys who are doing well will be under the watchful eyes of our coaches, which can then enable them a pathway into our youth teams. We are looking forward to the new academic year in association with The Sports School,” said BFC Club CEO, Mandar Tamhane.
“We have already seen some remarkable stories of talent and opportunity coming together in the past one year with the NBA Junior Development Programme and we intend to widespread the talent scouting through this scholarship programme. I am confident, India is a treasure trove of basketball talents and our efforts will see great results,” said John Mahesh Rao, head coach of The Sports School Basketball Academy.