Bridges of Sports

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Bridges of Sports

Based in Mundgod, a town in northern Karnataka, Bridges of Sports has a hyperlocal focus: training youth from rural, tribal, marginalised and poverty-stricken communities to become world-class athletes. The organisation specialises in track and field athletics, and is working to develop India’s fastest sprinters who can excel in international tournaments.

The foundational philosophy behind this work is the belief that the pursuit of excellence should exist for everybody, no matter how disadvantaged they may be, and that creating such opportunities can help shift norms of inequity and build long-lasting bridges for systemic change.

Bridges of Sports takes care of each student’s nutrition, education, hostel stay, training gear as well as their coaches, sports scientists and physiotherapists. All of this costs between $3,000 to $4,000 per child each year, for which the organisation has a variety of partners and donors, including individual donors willing to sponsor one athlete.

So far, the organisation has trained 92 full-time athletes, with a girl-to-boy gender ratio of 60:40. It has also managed to reach out to over 10,000 children in surrounding tribal and rural communities.

The project supported by MFE: 

Support towards coach development

With the goal of giving its athletes the best coaching they can get, this one-year project is two-pronged: coach development, and international exposure camps.

For coach development, Bridges of Sports has partnered with ALTIS, an global organisation that has trained athletes who have won over 40 medals at various Olympic Games and World Championships. From June 2023, ALTIS has provided Bridges of Sports with a full-time coach for 18 months, and is also helping BoS on a weekly basis to develop training programmes. BoS will gauge the development of its own coaching team based on the levels of certification they achieve and the direct impact on their students’ performance.

With the MFE project funding, BoS also aims to send its coaches, athletes and sports scientists on annual international exposure camps, so that they are consistently guided by the most successful coaches around the world. Such camps are important to help them not only learn and evolve but also get critical feedback on athlete development.

Through these camps, BoS aims to develop sustainable training systems and coaching methodologies that focus on an athlete’s long-term development, evaluation and performance mapping.