Help develop India's first hyperlocal athletics ecosystem | Milaap
Help develop India's first hyperlocal athletics ecosystem
  • Bridges of Sports

    Created by

    Bridges of Sports Foundation
  • af

    This fundraiser will benefit

    athletes from rural community

    from Mundgod, Karnataka


Hi - I am Nitish Chinwar, founder of Bridges of Sports Foundation. I started this initiative in 2016 to develop hyperlocal athletics ecosystem and sustainably produce world class talent in track and field from India. Our current focus is on training children of the Siddi tribe who are an Indo-African community who were en-slaved into India during colonisation - over 400 years ago. We are developing children from this community to become India's fastest sprinters, under mentorship of few the best coaches in the world. 

This campaign is towards raising funds to re-develop the community ground with better running track and drainage facility. This is to enable the children from the community to train year round and in a safe manner. You can read about the work of Bridges of Sports Foundation through the lens of various national and international media channels.

The BBC | Nasdaq | The Better India | The Economic Times | Aljazeera

Watch the video to know more about them and our work, 

We are currently based in Mundgod, Karnataka were along with Siddis, we train other local tribal populations. Using sports science and with team of coaches and sports scientists, we beileve the local population in the region has certain advantages in sprinting and with proper training, nutrition, mentoring and opportunities to compete, they can blaze a trail on the world stage.

Meet Nayana Gangu Kokare - our first athlete to win a national medal within 2 years of support. 

We first saw her running barefoot in one of our local village leagues. She had no previous background in running, neither did she have any previous coach training her across other sports.  

Our team of community members, coaches and scientists worked closely to understand their family background (physiology of their lineage), her childhood (was she physically more active then her peers) and importantly understanding her mental attitude towards wanting to achieve something to help herself, her family and her village evolve socio-economically. 

In 2019, we inducted her into our program and with just 3 months of training she qualified for the National Inter-District Juniors Athletics Championships (one of worlds largest grassroots competitions). Remarkably she qualified for the finals but unfortunately, she finished last in the finals.

She was then selected by BoS to train under a Jamaican coach from the esteemed Usain Bolt’s team and was set to travel to Jamaica in summer of 2020. But with COVID, all the plans took a hit and we moved her and other athletes into a secure bio-bubble where they trained indoors away from family for almost 2 years now. Getting stronger and faster and nursing few back injuries - she prepared for any hopeful event to showcase her true talent. During this phase, we evolved our team and added physiotherapists and biomechanics experts to focus a lot on running mechanics, 

In 2021 finally we had an event at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, she qualified for the 400 mtr National Open Athletics Championships and again reached its finals. This time, she ran her best ever timing in 400 mtr and won the bronze medal becoming the first athlete in BoS to win a national medal. Nayana is no where near her full potential and come 2022, she will be eyeing to qualify and represent India at the U-20 World Championships in Columbia.

From running barefoot to representing India, Nayana represents the story of all the other athletes/children in the region who all have equal potential ready to be tapped. Below is her story in detail -

Ravikiran Siddi is another athlete who was inducted into our system around 2018. As a child he would spend a lot of time hunting with his father as he lived in the deep forest regions of Karnataka. Maybe that is where he developed his raw speed as he is the first athlete under BoS to run sub 10.8 secs. His current personal best is 10.67 secs, as he aims to become the fastest sprinter in India’s history.

Another athlete Kevin Siddi casually box jumps almost 70% his height. We currently train 15 exceptional athletes ranging from age of 12 years to 19 years. Over the next decade, they will all make their mark and showcase their talent both at national and in international platforms.

There is no overnight success. I cannot promise a result. But I believe we have to give it our best shot.

Our team is currently mentored by world-class coaches from ALTIS, USA who have trained over 50 Olympic and World champions in the last few decades. We are closely working with the team at ALTIS, to develop our programs and coaching methodologies since last 15 months. We have been supported by various corporates and foundations over the last 4 years.
We believe for the mission of Bridges of Sports Foundation to be successful, we need to engage with individuals and supporters across the world and this annual fundraiser is towards that goal.

Your contribution towards developing the community ground will go a long way in supporting these athletes to train better and safer. Unfortunately as you can see in the pictures below, the community training ground is in bad shape with no upgradation in the last 15 years. Without any drainage facility - it makes it impossible to train during monsoons (almost 5 months in a year). And even in normal conditions, it makes the athletes - prone to constant injuries.
The community have come together to raise support of around 10,000 USD and this crowdfunding initiative will help bridge the remaining gap of around 20,000 USD. We encourage you to support this initiative and enable the development of this hyperlocal athletics ecosystem in India.

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