Govt project set to give women’s sports a boost | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 12, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:14 AM, January 12, 2021

Govt project set to give women’s sports a boost

"I have been playing cricket at the Bogura Shaheed Chandu Stadium since I was eight. My father's only dream is to see me in the women's national team. And he tries his best to help me carry on my studies alongside cricket," said Sraboni Rani Shil, a 14-year-old from the northern district.

But it is not possible for Sraboni's father Ranjit Chandra Shil, an employee of a local barbershop, to get his daughter admitted to a well-facilitated cricket academy as he can barely save enough to pay for his daughter's daily transportation cost to and from the stadium for cricket practice.

Ranjit's dream of seeing his daughter get into a well-facilitated cricket academy and subsequently play for the women's team one day could now well come true as Sraboni became one of the 400 primarily selected potential women players from across the country for a two-year long training under the development of women trainees' project 2020-2021, an initiative of the government taken through the BKSP.

"In our country, girls are lagging behind boys in sports. Therefore, the government took this initiative through BKSP to find talented women players across the country, especially from the grassroots. This is one of the priority projects of the government," said colonel AKM Majharul Haque, director of training for BKSP.

"We also have girls/women players in our regular academic program, but they are limited in numbers. Everybody does not get the chance to get admitted here. Therefore, we are going to start the two-year training project on large scale," added Majharul.

Among the 400 selected players, 32 (age 14-19) have been split into two groups for archery; 200 players (in two groups of age 12-14 and 15-17) have been selected for cricket; 120 players (in two groups of age 14-15 and 15-17) have been selected for football and 48 (age 14-18) selected for hockey.

The first phase of the BKSP camp will start in January and will end in March while the second phase of the camp will resume from April and will continue till June. After the completion of the second phase, BKSP will select 200 players for the final and the longest phase, which will start from August this year and will end in October next year.

Depending on their performances and abilities, the trainees will get the opportunity to get admitted at the BKSP.

A 10-storey hostel with a modern gymnasium and swimming pool and other facilities has already been built in the BKSP premises in Savar for this project. Moreover, BKSP's ground number 4 has also been allocated for providing training to players under this project.

The selected players will get residential training with food, education and sports equipment free of cost. The players will be trained under high-skill national and international trainers during these two years, said a notice of BKSP, published on their website last November.

The trainees will also be allowed to attend their academic (educational institutions) examinations while receiving evening academic lessons at the BKSP.

And if the words of the BKSP training director Majharul holds true, women's sports in the country will have a different outlook in the coming years. 

"Under this project, we aim to provide good training to these players so that some of them can join the national team directly. Besides, the pipeline of these (above mentioned) four disciplines will be stronger due to this project.

"We have already signed with some foreign coaches for this project. The honourable Prime Minister will inaugurate the project this month," said Majharul.

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