Anantapur: B. Anusha, a native of Bandlapalli, an interior village in Narpala mandal, never thought she would be taking part in the camp for National Cricket Academy U-19 Girls, but encouragement by the Rural Development Trust and Anantapur sports village changed her life.
Now, Anusha developed interest in cricket and is an efficient left arm all-rounder, who also represented Andhra U-16 team twice, as the captain and her team stood as runners. In 2017-18, the team won in Andhra U-19 team at the All India Tournament.
She has been practising at Anantapur Sports Academy for the past two years and was selected for the national-level camp to be held at Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh.
Not only Anusha, thousands of other students of various age groups are also associated with the Anantapur Sports Academy at RDT’s sports village on the outskirts of Anantapur city.
A total of 11,136 youths participate in regular and weekly programmes in nine sporting disciplines like cricket, football, hockey, tennis, Judo, special Olympics, softball, kabaddi and kho-kho.
Participation in sports is necessary for growth, self-esteem and confidence among the rural children. Accordingly, the RDT has been undertaking suitable initiatives since 2000, through the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), to bring out hidden talent among rural children in different sporting disciplines.
The ASA is considered to be one of the largest sports school holding development programmes, providing youth with infrastructure, equipment and coaching support.
Apart from promoting sports amongst the underprivileged youth of Anantapur, it is also contributing towards their socio-educational development.
The association runs a cricket programme across the district of Anantapur, through 14 centers, as the programs were initiated for boys in 2000 and for girls in 2006. The total number of regular, weekly participants in cricket at ASA is 697 (70 girls and 627 boys). Cricket is promoted via three types of centres: grassroot programmes, developmental centres and the Anantapur sports.
RDT has been encouraging children through Nadal Educational & Tennis School with Rafa Nadal Foundation in 2010 with a focus on the education and holistic development of children.
ASA runs a football programme across Anantapur district through 21 centres. The football programme was initiated for boys in 2004 and for girls in 2008.
The total number of regular, weeklyparticipants in Football were 2143including 737 girls and 1406 boys.Summer coaching camps were further encouraging children to take partin events, sources said.