Cricket is no longer a rich child’s game in Chennai; corporation offers free coaching for poor students, international actors to guide them

Greater Chennai Company.

Photo: iStock

Chennai: Now cricket coaching is not beyond the reach of poor children in Chennai. The Greater Chennai Corporation plans to provide free cricket coaching to 1,500 poor children who study at corporation schools across the city.

The students will be coached by professional players who have international playing experience, city officials said. In the first phase, 40 children will be selected for the training program and more students will be added in subsequent rounds. More than 1.1 lakh students study in public schools in Chennai society. At the initial stage, coaching is reserved for boys

Government authorities have asked physical education teachers in schools in Chennai to identify the beneficiary students. Those who pass a selection round conducted in schools will receive coaching within the next 11 months. Training will take place twice a week at a cricket academy and transport to the academy from school will be arranged by civic authorities.

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All administrative arrangements for the program have been finalized and will be officially launched shortly.

Chennai has several private cricket academies that offer coaching to school children. However, they have remained inaccessible to poor children as these academies charge high fees which an economically backward family cannot afford. For the same reason, the company’s latest move has been applauded by many sports fans.

Apart from cricket, the city authorities are also planning to offer free football training to underprivileged children in the coming months. The program, which is launched in collaboration with the central government and several international agencies, will start in the business schools of Kottur Tondirapet, Saidapet. A third of the students selected for food ball coaching will be girls.

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