Bopanna, Uthappa back school that integrates sports and education

Rohan Bopanna,Robin Uthappa,Sports School,Anup Sridhar, International Tennis Federation

In a quest to bring sports and academics to the kids in the school, The Sports School at Vaderahalli in Bengaluru is offering integrated curriculum in sports and academics from standard 1 to post graduation.

The one of its kind platform to offer high class academics with world class sports facilities has also engaged eminent sportsmen Rohan Bopanna, cricketer Robin Uthappa, and shuttler Anup Sridhar on the advisory board.

The schools’ sports programme offers coaching at four different levels – Basic Level (age group 6 to 10); Intermediate level (10 to 12 age group); Advanced level (12+) and Professional Level for full time sports athletes.

“Coaching is something that I’m fully passionate about. Today, I got the opportunity to advise The Sports School to run their cricket coaching, set up a curriculum, collaborate with many national and international clubs and associations to conduct tournaments often and make sure that each student is given complete attention to nurture their skills,” said Uthappa.

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The facilities of The Sports School include a 25-acre campus consisting of one stadium, tennis court and six synthetic courts with International Tennis Federation certified acrylic cushioned courts, FIFA FIH quality-tested artificial turf, football field, 50m Olympic sized pool, 12 indoor synthetic badminton courts, two FIBA standard Basketball court, and an  International standard 65m natural turf cricket ground with six outdoor practice nets.

According to Sridhar, setting up of these kinds of schools can empower other sports, other than just cricket. “The school allows children to get proper training from a young age that will ensure more potential. They can explore suitable careers that can go along with your sports interests with a backup of academic qualifications. If we get such qualified professionals, it can boost any sport,” he said.

Bopanna, who runs his own tennis academy, said, “I never had a facility like this. It’s good to provide an athlete the right direction to become a world-class player. They need education to lead their life and career. That drew my attention towards this initiative.” He also added that the school takes care of the overall development of the player. “Nutrition, physical fitness and stress management – everything has been taken care of, just like how a professional player is exposed to.”

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Although despite so much effort by the stakeholders involved, the fees for the students are high and not every section of society can afford such services. The students will be grouped for  basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of sports training based on their skill level. Tennis has a slightly higher fee while other sports have the same fee structure. For the intermediate level, the annual tennis fee for a kid is ₹6,25,000 while for the professional level it is ₹10,50,000. The kids in other sports will have to pay ₹5,25,000 per year if they are at the intermediate level and an annual fee of ₹7,75,000 for the professional level.

The school has partnered with Rohan Bopanna Academy, Anup Sridhar Badminton Academy, Bengaluru FC, Centre for Cricketing Excellence, Young Orions Basketball Club and Mastya Incorporation (swimming) for different sports.

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