Sports scholarships motivate athletes: CWG silver medallist and UPES alumnus Navneet Singh
UPES alumnus and Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Navneet Singh is proud that his alma mater has announced 50 new scholarships under Project Vijay for students aspiring to make it big in the world of sports
Despite scripting mega success stories consistently at all the recent international sporting events such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, India still has some way to go before it is recognised as a serious contender among the nations competing for sporting glory.
Commonwealth Games 2022 silver medallist and UPES alumnus Navneet Singh, who represented India in the Men’s Lawn Bowls event, feels that sports scholarships play a vital role in boosting the morale of aspiring sportspersons and encouraging them to take up sports in a country that is marred by lack of key infrastructure.
“The scholarships and cash awards are a motivation for sportspersons to push themselves to do their best in any given circumstance,” Navneet says.
The 28-year-old has received quite a few scholarships in his early sporting days and emphasises on their importance in furthering a player’s career.
“Scholarships give players the chance to take up sports as a profession. They can put all their worries aside and focus solely on their game,” he says.
“Schools, colleges, and the government should do more to promote sports scholarships,” he adds.
In saying so, the software engineer-turned-commercial pilot echoes the words of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Speaking at the recently-concluded Khelo India University Games (KIUG), Shah envisioned a strong sporting India by 2047.
“We want India to be among the top five countries in terms of sports by 2047 when we celebrate 100 years of our independence,” Shah said. “We are building sports infrastructure, sports science centres, community coaching facilities, arranging international level coaches, and organising annual sports events,” he added.
However, the role that scholarships play in altering the course of a nation’s sporting trajectory cannot be ignored. Data shows that most of India’s medal-winning athletes come from poor backgrounds, mostly from remote villages in India’s hinterland. They have the talent, but not the guidance, facilities, or the finances.
This is where sports scholarships play a key role.
Taking cognisance of this need to develop a thriving sports culture in the country and make quality education and career pathways accessible to meritorious individuals, UPES Dehradun has announced new sports scholarships for the academic year 2022-23.
The announcement of 50 sports scholarships under Project Vijay was made at an event held in the university campus in the presence of Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami, and Shri Sahdev Singh Pundir, MLA, Sahaspur.
Under the project, a total of 50 seats would be allotted for the following sports: Cricket, Football, Athletics, Basketball, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Badminton, Shooting and Chess.
Applicable only on the tuition fee, the scholarship will range from 35% to 100%, depending on the number of achievements and the national and international sports representation by the candidate.
Apart from the academic eligibility, the scholarship is provided if the student continues the sport as part of the UPES team.
Commenting on the new scholarships, Dr Sunil Rai, Vice Chancellor, UPES said, “As a University of Tomorrow, we stand on six strong pillars, one of which is ‘Purpose’. Driving the purpose of education for all, UPES has added this new scholarship to the existing ones. It is a privilege for us to announce Project Vijay in the presence of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.”
Navneet says he is proud of his alma mater’s initiative to make sports an integral part of the academic curriculum.
“This will benefit talented sportspersons,” he says. “They will be able to focus on their sports and complete their studies without worrying about anything else,” he adds, before signing off.