HDFC Bank & GoSports Foundation today jointly launched “Unstoppable – Karke Dikhaungi” a two-phase scholarship programme for women athletes, and coaches. The programme, under the aegis of Parivartan – HDFC Bank’s umbrella brand for all social initiatives, will identify talented female athletes from across the country and support their pursuit of sporting excellence.
Conceptualised by GoSports Foundation, the initiative will focus on development of Women in Sports in India. The Foundation will curate and implement the programme, with HDFC Bank as the exclusive partners for 3 years.
India’s sportswomen face a plethora of challenges, such as lack of proper infrastructure, dearth of financial remuneration, restrictive cultural dogmas, etc. The programme aims to tackle these challenges. Along with supporting their competition and travel, training, equipment, coaching, and sports science requirements, the programme will work towards increasing equality and inclusivity in Indian sports by creating new women champions and role models for the society.
The programme is inviting applications from deserving state-and-national level athletes across sporting disciplines – Olympic, Paralympic, Winter Games and Motorsports. It aims to support a diverse set of athletes to help them achieve their sporting potential.
Applications are open for a month from May 24th to June 24th, 2022. Shortlisted athletes will be called in for internal evaluations and further shortlisting for the next stages. This would include feedback from coaches and experts, interview rounds and due diligence. The selection process for athletes would take close to 100 days.
Finally, 20 athletes will be awarded scholarships and holistic support for their sporting journeys and crucial junctures in their careers. The top 100 shortlisted athletes, in the third round of this process, will have access to education workshops on multiple pertinent topics throughout the year.
In the second phase of the programme, applications will be opened for coaches as well for yearly scholarships. Similar to athletes, they will be offered financial and non-financial support for their growth and development.
The programme will provide yearly financial scholarships ranging INR 5-10 lakhs on an average to athletes, and around INR 5 lakhs to coaches. To know more about how to apply, Click here.
“As a socially responsible corporate citizen we want to do our part to nurture sporting talent in the country,” said Ashima Bhat, Group Head-CSR, Business Finance and Infrastructure, HDFC Bank. “Sports plays a critical role in the holistic development of the youth of our nation. In the absence of adequate resources and infrastructure to support these talented athletes, many are forced to drop out early in their journey. This programme is designed to eliminate some of these gaps so that our athletes and coaches could achieve excellence in their disciplines. It is our endeavour to discover talent and help them achieve greatness on the national and international stage,” she added.
“#Parivartan, our flagship CSR programme, acts as a catalyst to bring about good in society,” said Ms. Nusrat Pathan, Head CSR. “Apart from the infrastructure challenges faced by athletes, women in sports face the additional burden of battling societal and cultural dogmas. We are delighted to partner with GoSports Foundation to bring about more equality and inclusivity in the field. This is aligned with some of the larger strategic goals of our Parivartan programme”
The GoSports Foundation is a National Sports Award (Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Pururskar) winning not-for-proﬁt trust established in 2008 working towards the development of some of India’s most talented emerging and elite athletes, competing in multiple sporting disciplines. The Foundation has thus far supported 16 Olympians, 27 Paralympians including10 Paralympic medalists across the Rio & Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
During the launch, Ms. Deepthi Bopaiah, CEO of GoSports Foundation said, “Over the decades, there have been many special milestones created by women sporting champions, who have scripted history and have contributed towards changing stereotypes, breaking barriers and inspiring communities through sport. At GoSports Foundation, we have been fortunate to be a part of many such journeys over the last 13 years, through Bhavani Devi, Dipa Karmakar, Avani Lekhara and many more such champions. We are very excited to have HDFC Bank on board to launch a unique programme for young girls and women in sport, where we focus on their overall development in their respective sporting journeys. We are very happy to kick-start this programme and continue to change the script.”
The programme also focuses on crucial aspects such as Menstrual Health and Hygiene, Mental Health and Safe Spaces for women in sport to relax and recharge, and Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) via research, outreach and advocacy to bring the change in the sporting ecosystem of India and enable women in sport to rise and blaze a trail of their own without any second thoughts about sport.