Squash for Development Organisations (SDO’s) use squash as a vehicle for social change, alongside nutritional support, additional medical care and more to help underserved populations around the world.
As the charitable arm of the PSA Tour, we partner with these non-profit programs and provide resources and support they otherwise might not have.
The latest organisation to join this network is START FOUNDATION (Sports Temple and Rural Training Foundation).
Situated 90 minutes away from Mumbai, India, in an indigenous village called Kalote Mokashi, their academy is an all-rounded experience for all their participants.
They bridge the gap between rural and urban, using their high-level facility set up away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Training at the program includes squash, boxing, Bark Beat (START Foundation’s creation of boxing to the beat of music), yoga & fitness sessions. The physical training is then also combined with mindfulness and nutrition support.
We spoke with START Founder, Ritwik Bhattacharya, who was also the first Indian to break into the Top 50 of the PSA Tour rankings accomplished 9 PSA tour titles, about the programme and the impact they are making in their community.
“We are currently training and coaching 74 indigenous children between ages of 6-17 years from the Nirguda Tribe (also known as the Butterflies of the Woods)”.
“Alongside a varied program including squash, we provide high level coaching and equipment, we do not charge the children anything for any of this to ensure that our program is accessible for all.”
“There have been great strides in the overall development of these indigenous children since we began the program where today the kids we support are ranked nationally in India and are performing at a very high level. We have been able to act as a catalyst of change to expand the program and achieve greater heights and overall impact”.
“We want to reach out to another 4 Villages over the next 2 years and 20 Villages over the next 7 years reaching approximately 1200 Tribal Children and bringing them on the National Circuit.”
“Eventually, we want to create a platform called the Road to PSA Camps and Small PSA Satellite Tournaments in 2024 to empower them.”
“We have received major support from IndusInd Bank through their Corporate Social Responsibility and Book a Smile for our All Glass Court. We are looking for suitable partners for our expansion and grassroots tournament plan.”