The Anantapur Sports Academy has been chosen for the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar-2019. The award will be presented at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on August 29.
The academy, promoted by the Rayalaseema Development Trust (RYDT), an NGO founded in 1969, has been promoting sports among rural youth and produced many national and international-level sportspersons.
It has created many world-class sporting facilities and holds several national-level cricket matches too at its facility in Anantapur.
The award will be received by the sports academy programme director Moncho Ferrer.
A release from the academy said the objective of the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar was to encourage and promote the involvement of corporates, voluntary organisations, sports control boards etc. in the promotion and development of sports. The award is given in four categories: a) identifying and nurturing of budding/young talent, b) encouragement of sports through Corporate Social Responsibility, c) employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures, d) sport For development.
On being selected for the award, Mr. Moncho Ferrer said, “Firstly, we appreciate the efforts of the Government of India in acknowledging the contribution of sports towards the development of children and communities and recognising the initiatives by having sports for development as a category for the award.”
‘11,000 being trained’
“This recognition reaffirms our commitment and gives us the belief that we are heading in the right direction,” said Sai Krishna Pulluru, director of the academy.
“The RYDT believes that rural children’s participation in sports is necessary for their growth, self-esteem, and confidence as well as to address the challenges being faced by them due to the prevailing inequalities in rural areas,” he added.
In 2000, the RYDT initiated the Anantapur Sports Academy. Currently, the RYDT-ASA runs programmes in seven sporting disciplines – hockey, football, cricket, judo, softball, kho-kho, and kabaddi – through 90 centres across Anantapur district and engages more than 10,840 children and youth, with 45% of them being girls.