AU Small Finance Bank Upgrades Training of Thirty Coaches for the Bano Champion CSR Initiative

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Jaipur: AU Small Finance Bank (AU SFB), India’s largest SFB, completed the training of its 30 selected coaches under the Bano Champion Coaches Development Programme, at the prestigious Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) in Vijayanagar, Karnataka. These sports coaches are the pillar of training for children from underprivileged and marginalised sections enrolled under the Bano Champion CSR Programme of AU SFB. The certification from IIS will not only enhance the capabilities of the coaches to strengthen sports training for the rural youth of Rajasthan, but also help the coaches build their professional profile.

Thirty selected coaches underwent specialised training to cascade their skills down to the grassroots level. It was a residential programme spanning four days of intensive training and a comprehensive curriculum covering various critical aspects of athlete development, including strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, sports nutrition, sports medicine and coaching methods.

The Bano Champion project ‘Maidaan se Manzil Tak’ is a groundbreaking CSR initiative of AU Small Finance Bank, launched in October 2021, to provide guided sports training to rural youth, in sports such as athletics, football, throwball, volleyball, and games of local preference. The programme has quickly evolved into a transformative force, impacting the lives of over 8000 children across 64 rural and semi-urban locations in 22 districts of Rajasthan. The initiative has garnered support from various sectors, including partnerships with sectoral experts, association bodies, and the government.

Key achievements of the Bano Champion programme include:

  1. Over 90 trained coaches and sub-coaches, along with a large support of volunteers, guiding the aspiring champions.
  2. 680 young sports enthusiasts showing exemplary results at State and National Level competitions.
  3. Five participants qualifying for the prestigious Khelo India Youth Games.
  4. One athlete qualifying for the World Athletics Championship in Lima, Peru
  5. A robust sports tournament structure at village, district, and State levels, witnessing massive participation.

The Bano Champion programme goes beyond providing just training by organising sports tournaments at various levels, creating platforms for children to showcase their talents. This year, the State Level Sports Tournament of the Bano Champion was organised at SMS Stadium in Jaipur. With renowned wrestler, Geeta Phogat as the Chief Guest for the finals, the tournament witnessed the participation of 1800+ children across seven sports. In a rewarding development, seven athletes from the programme were selected by the Delhi Sports School (DSS), opening doors to national and international opportunities through their blend of sports and academics.

Speaking at the successful completion, Sanjay Agarwal, Founder, MD & CEO, AU Small Finance Bank, said, “We believe sports can inculcate discipline and build resilient personalities. The Bano Champion programme was designed to align with our broader goal of uplifting rural children by nurturing their sporting abilities and instilling a vibrant sports culture in India. This strategic upskilling of coaches aims to positively impact the training and development of children enrolled under the Bano Champion programme. This specialised training will enable the coaches to integrate their acquired knowledge to enhance the existing coaching practices of the initiative.”

AU Small Finance Bank remains dedicated to fostering a healthier, more active, and sports-driven society through initiatives like the Bano Champion, making significant strides in the lives of India’s youth.