The Sports School unveils National Scholarship Programme; Rohan Bopanna, Robin Uthappa to mentor budding athletes

The Bengaluru-based institution made the announcement in a press conference that was attended by top athletes Rohan Bopanna, Robin Uthappa.

Amit Banerjee December 18, 2020 21:22:05 IST
The Sports School unveils National Scholarship Programme; Rohan Bopanna, Robin Uthappa to mentor budding athletes

File image of Robin Uthappa. Sportzpics

The Sports School on Friday announced its National Scholarship Programme for the year 2021-22 for budding athletes in various sports, including cricket.

The Bengaluru-based institution, the first-ever integrated school for sports and academics in the country, made the announcement in a press conference that was attended by top sporting names: Rohan Bopanna, Robin Uthappa as well as Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane.

Both tennis player Bopanna and senior cricketer Uthappa, who serve as chief mentors at the school in their respective disciplines, spoke on the importance of education for athletes and how the institution would make it easier for pupils to manage their academics better while training hard to become future sporting stars of the country.

“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 Asian Games gold medallist Bopanna.

Uthappa, who recently represented Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 and has represented India in 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is, recounted his days of struggle with college education while representing the country in the biggest cricketing event of them all.

“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,” said Uthappa.

Leading Indian Super League (ISL) club Bengaluru FC on the other hand will have an eye on the children enrolled at the school as far as recruiting players for their youth teams is concerned, said chief executive Tamhane.

“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.

“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 Tamhane.

In addition to Bopanna and Uthappa, former All England champion and current national coach Pullela Gopichand serves as the chief mentor for badminton at the school.

The scholarship will be awarded to as many as 60 students across four sports — tennis, cricket, football and basketball.

The program will be made available to students falling in the age brackets of U-12, U-14 and U-16. The scholarships awarded will vary from 25 to 100 percent depending on factors such as attitude, aptitude, sporting achievements, etc.

The last date for submitting applications has been set for 28 December.

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