Nita Ambani’s love for sports is known to all. She has been contributing to the development of sports in India and encouraging the youth of the country. Her work in the field of sports is far recognized. Due to her dedication, she also attained the position of a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Nita Ambani dreams of India as a multi-sport nation. One of the games that she promotes through the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Reliance Foundation, is basketball.
Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program
Reliance Foundation, headed by Nita Ambani, partnered with National Basketball Association (NBA) to initiate the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program. It is an inclusive school-based basketball program for the youth. The program has reached to more than 2.8 million individuals across India. Through the program, Reliance Foundation provides an opportunity to the youth to explore their passion for sports. It promotes health, fitness, and active lifestyle, and inculcates values like teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, and dedication.
Moreover, the program aims to create an eco-system where neither studies nor sports is compromised. It believes that both studies and sports play a significant role in shaping lives of individuals and are mutually exclusive.
To support and participate in the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, a number of international NBA stars have also fled to India. These include legends like Muggsy Bogues and Bruce Bowen. Women NBA (WNBA) All-Stars Swin Cash, Sim Bhullar, and Tamika Catchings have also visited India for the same. Sim Bhullar was the first Indian-origin player to participate in the NBA.
The support and encouragement assist the Indian youth to play the game together and boost basketball’s growth across India.
Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA launch
Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program was launched in 2013. During the launch of the program, Nita Ambani expressed her excitement over the partnership with the international premier basketball league. She said that Reliance Foundation aims at taking Indian basketball to a greater height with NBA’s expertise and curriculum. She believes that India has a large reservoir of sporting talents and the best place to identify and nurture these talents is school.
Mrs. Ambani also believes that the development of sports should begin at the grassroots level. She feels that when students start playing a game from a young age, the chances of spreading the love and talent for the game increases.
In the initial year of the launch, the program trained more than 1.4 lakh students across 225 schools of Mumbai, Kochi, and Kottayam. 40 percent of these students were girls. The program also trained 250 coaches and distributed 4,500 basketballs.
Activities of Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program
Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program trains the youth in basketball skills. There are in-school basketball sessions for students between third and tenth grade. There are also elite training camps to polish the skills of talented individuals.
The program organizes a number of after-school activities and inter-school basketball competitions. It also conducts a ‘Hot Shot’ competition to pick best shooters from each school and pitch them against each other in a city-wide championship.
It equips all the participating schools with basketballs, hoops, nets, cones, whistles, coaching guides, stopwatches, and air pumps. Moreover, it had a ‘Train the Trainer’ program wherein international coaches were called to India to train the local coaches.
In the later stages, the program is designed to choose 24 individuals from the elite camps. These students will receive NBA-level coaching and a complete scholarship for high-quality education.
Nita Ambani’s love for sports
Nita Ambani has a lot of faith in the power of sports. She is passionate about sports. She is committed to promoting the same in India. She says that sports impacts the society as a whole. She believes that sports transforms a community, country, and the world. According to her, it brings people belonging to different religions, ethnicities, and cultures together. She also feels that smiles and friendships blossom on the sports field.
According to Nita Ambani, sports fosters human bonding and brings positive changes. She strongly promotes the importance of sports in India. This is because she believes that sports plays a leading role in shaping the future of the youth. She works towards spreading the importance of sports among young individuals by motivating them and helping them realize their passions.
With Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program, Nita Ambani strives to promote sporting culture in India on a large scale. Her aim is to create a pool of elite players of international standards.