Published On : Thu, Jul 21st, 2022

Sports for Change: Over 650 children across States, UTs to participate in HCL Foundation’s grassroots sports promotion series

~ Sports for Change aims to leverage the potential and capacity of sports to foster inclusion and bring people from all backgrounds together at the grass root level

~ Introducing para sports as a category at the Finals with thirty selected para-athletes competing in various exhibition matches

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Nagpur: HCL Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of HCL Technologies, will felicitate winners of the 4th edition of Sports for Change, an initiative to recognize young potential talent and nurture the sports skills of youth. The event is taking place after a gap of two years due to the Covid pandemic. The two-day event commencing on July 21, 2022, will be held at Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Nagpur, and will culminate with the felicitation of the winners on July 22, 2022.

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• The Sports for Change, 2022 will be inaugurated on July 21, 2022, by Ms. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCL Technologies, CSR Board Committee Chair. The event will also be attended by special dignitaries like Mr. Anup Sridhar (Arjuna Awardee in 2007, Former Badminton Player of India), Ms. Jerlin Anika (3 Gold Medals in Deaflympics 2021, HCL My Scholar), Mr. Vijay Anand Guntur (President – Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies) and Ms. Nidhi Pundhir, Director of HCL Foundation. The event will kick off with a welcome dance, sports drill, torch run, and torch lighting.

• 650 children from 10 states and two union territories such as Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Nagaland, Telangana and Rajasthan are taking part in this event.

• Gender transformative & inclusive approaches remain central to the vision of HCL. With special emphasis on vulnerable and marginalized groups, this year, the HCL Foundation has introduced para-sports as a category at the Finals, where thirty selected para-athletes will be competing in various exhibition matches. The participating children are a part of the government schools, regular sports programs, and communities supported by HCL Foundation under its flagship initiatives – HCL Uday, HCL Samuday, and HCL Grant.

• During these two days, the students would be participating in sporting events like football, volleyball, kabaddi, basketball, girls’ cricket, girls’ rugby, chess, carrom, badminton, wrestling, table tennis & athletics (track, field, and throw)

• HCL Foundation reaches out to 153000+ students across 1083 government schools and 30 gurukuls for providing professional exposure in sports.

• So far, the Foundation has given out 91 sports scholarships worth 30 lakhs+ in total. These long-term sports scholarships are funded by the HCL Power of One – a voluntary employee contribution programme and include comprehensive coverage comprising- academic and nutrition support, sport-specific skill and fitness coaching, child-safe play spaces, equipment, etc

• The students who had excelled in Qualifiers 2021 participated in the National Sports Meet. The students representing the Sports for Change event today have been identified after rigorous training and screening camps and have qualified for the Sports for Change – District, State, and Zonal level Championships.

• Sports for a Change initiative is aimed at leveraging the potential and capacity of sports to foster inclusion and bringing people from all backgrounds, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds, together at the grass root level.

• The key objective is to empower young leaders from disadvantaged communities and channel their energy towards sports thereby making them society’s role models and creating opportunities for them. Over the years, through this initiative, 27,000 students have been successfully trained in various sports such as athletics, karate chess, carom, badminton, volleyball, football, kabaddi, etc. Students have represented and won accolades at the District, State, and National Level Tournaments.

Speaking on this occasion, Nidhi Pundhir, Director, HCL Foundation said, “What started as a part of the employee volunteering programme a few years ago, has become a passion project for all of us at the HCL Foundation. Over the years, we realized the transformative power sports can have in lives of these children. It has helped them to come out of their difficult circumstances. Infact some of these children hadn’t even see a formal sport shoe in their life. That’s where the whole element of first and transformation comes in. Kajal, was one of the first girls to learn basketball in Gejha village. She is now a full time coach at the Dribble Academy.

So we as an organization are merely fulfilling the role of a bridge for these immensely talented students by providing them opportunities and I wish them all the best for a bright future.”

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