With a population of 1.1 billion, India is home to 20% of the world’s children. International Inspiration is working hand-in-hand with the Indian Government to make sure all children have the chance to play sport in their schools and communities. International Inspiration is active in six states, building strong links between practitioners and policy makers in the UK and India. The programme is providing opportunities for some of the country’s most disadvantaged young people. These include girls, children with disabilities and children from lower castes.
'We take it for granted in the UK that PE is an integral part of our lives. For many of these children, it’s a luxury. This programme is really about giving children the opportunity to get involved, to influence their communities and maybe use sport as a vehicle to change their lives.’Denise Lewis
Creating a culture of inclusive sports education as well as user-friendly resources for primary schools have had a massive impact on young people’s lives. Trained community coaches are using sport to tackle a range of social issues, such as forced marriage for girls and truancy, as well as encouraging more children to attend school by improving the provision of PE and sport.
Through our partnership with the Government, over the next decade safe spaces for children to play will be created. In addition, coaches are being trained, equipment is being provided and sports competitions are being organised in India’s 250,000 rural villages.
Reasons to celebrate
- International Inspiration’s approaches and methodology have been integrated into the Government of India’s ‘sport for all’ initiative, which aims to train 250,000 community sports coaches over the next 10 years.
- Present projections suggest that tens of millions of children will be impacted by the introduction of Physical Education Cards (PEC) – a new India-specific teaching resource that enables non-specialists to deliver quality PE.
- Working with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport and Special Olympics Bharat, International Inspiration has developed a new resource to train 22,000 coaches of children with a disability over the next three years.
From International Inspiration to local mayor
Ujiwala, is a young woman in her 20s from Gondpipri in India. Through International Inspiration, she has been trained as a Community Sport Coach, learning how to lead sport and play sessions for children from her village. She has recently been elected by her community to become mayor of her village – a remarkable achievement for an unmarried woman in a tribal district.
When asked about her journey to the highest position in her village, Ujiwala describes how her ambition has been boosted by her involvement in different development programmes, with International Inspiration helping realise her full potential. In spite of her many new responsibilities, she still leads sessions and affirms that she will continue to do as much as possible.
Leaders like Ujiwala are a great example for other young women in India’s rural regions.