New Delhi, Mar 31: Through the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP), Australia has distributed 5.8 lakh rupees this year to support two youth sports programs in India.
Australia has provided 463,800 rupees to the Naz Foundation's Goal - Reaching New Heights netball program for disadvantaged girls. This program is unique in that it challenges girls to learn new skills and improves confidence through a non-contact, women-only sport.
For many of the participants it is the first time they have been involved in any form of organised physical activity. ASOP has provided funds to expand the program through a 'training of trainers' workshop for potential coaches, and to refurbish local netball courts.
On Mar 24, Deputy High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan participated in a Goal workshop at the Deepalay School, Govindpuri. "I think sport is a wonderful vehicle to empower girls and young women" said Dr Strahan. "Apart from improving physical fitness, which is important for doing well in academic studies, sport teaches girls leadership skills and gives them greater confidence in themselves."
Australia has also provided 115,517 rupees to the Youth Football Club of Rurka Kalan in the Punjab to develop a coaching program and translate training material into local languages. This program will facilitate a structured approach to physical education in the region.
Australia and India share a common sporting heritage and have a long history of competition at the international level, including in forums such as the Commonwealth Games. As Delhi 2010 approaches, the Australia Government is pleased to encourage further sporting excellence and the development of grassroots sport in India through ASOP.
ASOP was launched in July 2006 and this year provided around 10 lakh rupees in funding to countries across the Asia Pacific region for grass roots sport development.
The goal of ASOP is to increase community participation in sport and physical activity while providing an avenue for broader community development in areas such as health promotion, leadership and social cohesion. Youth, women and girls, and people with disability are focus groups for ASOP.