Saddened by the monetary hardship being confronted by the hockey neighborhood amid the COVID-19 pandemic, former India captain Viren Rasquinha has raised Rs 22 lakh to be distributed as one-time profit amongst gamers, coaches and groundsmen working on the grassroots degree. The fund has been raised in only one week by way of a joint initiative of non-profit organisations Olympic Gold Quest, of which Rasquinha is a Director and CEO, and Go Sports activities Basis. They named the initiative #LetsStickTogether.
The funds have been collected from 120 donors, together with former hockey gamers, different sportspersons and a company home.
As per the initiative, Rs 10,000 every can be given as a one-time grant to 220 recognized beneficiaries to tide over the disaster which arose due to the coronavirus-forced nationwide lockdown.
“I used to be speaking to my former teammate Conroy Remedios, the coach of Republicans Sports activities membership in Mumbai, which can also be my childhood membership and his spouse Dipika Murthy, who’s a former India goalkeeper and got here to understand how unhealthy the state of affairs was on the grassroot degree,” Rasquinha informed PTI.
“The gamers, coaches and groundsmen on the grassroot degree have been discovering it troublesome to place meals on their tables due to no earnings throughout the lockdown,” he stated.
“Many of the membership hockey gamers in Mumbai hail from throughout Maharashtra. The belong to poor backgrounds. Somebody’s father is a meals vendor, barber or auto driver and their earnings have been hit laborious. That’s after I thought to assist them in a private capability.”
By then, the 39-year-old hockey-player-turned-management skilled had already shared his ideas with good friend Nandan Kamath, who’s the Managing Trustee of Go Sports activities Basis, and the 2 determined to hitch palms within the #LetsStickTogether initiative.
“You will need to preserve these grassroots individuals within the sport as a result of with out them there can be no intermediate or prime degree in any sports activities. I shared this with my OGQ board they usually immediately determined to do that initiative collectively with Go Sports activities,” Rasquinha stated.
The previous India mid-fielder stated the hardest job was to establish the rightful beneficiaries.
For this, Rasquinha used his contacts within the hockey neighborhood and concerned the likes of Remedios, Okay Arumugam, who runs an NGO based mostly in New Delhi, former Indian hockey gamers Dilip Tirkey, Bharat Chikara, Vikram Pillay and VS Vinaya, who’re into teaching, and the Jude Felix Hockey Academy amongst others.
“The important thing was to establish the correct beneficiary. So, I trusted people who find themselves concerned with hockey for the final 20-25 gamers,” the 39-year-old stated.
Rasquinha can also be giving his inputs from this initiative to comparable campaigns in sports activities like badminton and desk tennis.
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