Reliance Foundation (RF) is the charitable arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) established in order to further the philanthropy of the parent company.
Founder and Chairperson, Nita Ambani, strongly believes that the upliftment of marginalized communities is the only way to create a brighter future for India. Additionally, she continues to emphasize the importance of transforming India into a multi-sport nation.
Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Program
The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) initiative was inaugurated by honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The football competitions under this program will be held in cities like Kochi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Goa, Kolkata, and Delhi. The competition will initially have qualifying rounds and city championships which would be followed by the national finals.
Held in association with the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the competition includes four participation categories namely, Junior Boys, Senior Boys, College Boys, and Senior Girls. AIFF has appreciated the initiative, calling it one of the most ambitious football campaigns that deserves praise and is expected to encourage the growth of the sport in India.
The future plans for RFYS include expanding the participating cities to 32 by the third year. The fifth year is expected to witness participation from about 50 Indian cities. Other sports like badminton, tennis, basketball, and volleyball will also be added to the competition during its second innings when the initiative extends up to a minimum of 16 cities.
Kushal Das, the General Secretary at AIFF, stated that the grassroots movement conducted by RF is definitely promising in terms of the development and recruitment of young talent. It would help boost AIFF’s vision which is also to encourage youth participation and guide them towards defined sporting careers.
More than 3000 matches are expected to be held and digitally broadcasted in RFYS’ inaugural year. Industry experts predict that it could soon become the biggest talent scouting platform for football in India.
Applications for the Competition
RFYS is currently receiving several applications from various educational institutions across the country. The schools and colleges aim to participate in the football competitions that begin on the 28th of August.
The foundation claims to have received over 1300 applications over the last two weeks with the initiative’s inaugural year itself witnessing registrations from more than 1700 football teams from schools and colleges. As the date of the competition draws close, RF is expecting the numbers to go up over the next two weeks.
Nita Ambani’s Mission
Nita Ambani explained how the initiative would solve the problem of funding and allow deserving young sportspersons to pursue their dreams. She expressed her idea of developing India into a multiple sports nation and how her foundation intends to involve over 50 cities by 2020.
The RFYS advisory board includes Professor Dipak Jain, Ranbir Kapoor, Saina Nehwal, Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, and Nita Ambani.