Fourteen-year-old Sneha Prakash had her dangal moment after she beat her opponent, Vedant, in a wrestling tournament. She is one among the 178 children of police officers selected to bCSRe trained for state, national and, eventually, international level tournaments, under the Mission Olympics 2017 initiative organised by the Police Families Welfare Society (PFWS). “We realised that sports has been a neglected field and children have a lot of talent in them. Hence, we trained children through three week-long summer camps, for which we utilised Rs 59 lakh from our scholarship initiative — Wajifa,” said Suchana Patnaik, President, PFWS, at the closing ceremony of Phase I of the initiative.
“Our goal and challenge is to train these kids for international sports. We have 10 welfare centers in the city where these kids were given training at summer camps. Matches were held between the participants. Those who have been selected will be given further training,” Madhur Verma, DCP (crime branch) said.
A total of 596 children were trained under 26 trainers in five sports — shooting, wrestling, athletics, badminton and football. After various competitions between them, 178 were selected for Phase II where they will be trained by expert coaches, and taken care by nutritionists and physiotherapists. Their progress would be tracked through expert committee reports.
“They will be sent for state tournaments. If they win, we will make them take part in national tournaments too. For funding, we will take help from PSUs, banks and those companies who want to contribute to sports through their CSR scheme,” said Dr Sushi Singh, vice-president, PFWS.
“We have seen that the children of senior officers get the best exposure and their talents are honed, but the children of our head constables and constables do not get the same platforms. So, we decided to do something for them,” said Dr Singh.
Another round of screening will be held for students who could not make it to Phase I, Dr Singh said, adding that the calendar for the next phases would be decided after the screening.
Ankit Kumar, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Bawana, won the 100 metres race on Sunday. He has been selected for the second phase. Ankit completed the race in 11.3 seconds, just 1.72 seconds behind Usain Bolt’s record 9.58 seconds. “In Class V, I took part in a race at school and came first. I want to pursue this as a career and hope to gain a lot from this initiative,” said Ankit.