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An overview and update of ModBox in India

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An overview and update of ModBox in India

An Australian sport-based development initiative (ModBox) has been operating in 10 schools across the northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The project uses a modified, low-risk form of boxing as a vehicle to engage with young people from some of the most disadvantaged sectors of the Indian community and aims to facilitate their personal development.

With support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), a sport-based development initiative known as ModBox – a form of modified boxing – is currently operating in 10 schools across the northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The project is serving as a vehicle for reaching young people from some of the most disadvantaged sectors of the Indian community and is aimed at facilitating their personal development.

The programme objectives extend beyond improvement of sporting proficiency, having broader educational and social dimensions. For example, the programme is linked with an initiative that seeks to make the modified boxing participants aware of and responsive to environmental challenges affecting their region. 

Tree-planting exercises are being conducted in conjunction with a regiment of the Indian army and programme participants are being rewarded for advancing ideas directed at solving environmental problems. 

An Indian company, Paramount Enterprises, has commenced manufacture of specialised gloves and other equipment needed for the programme. This is contributing to the building of Australian-Indian relationships in the sport business sector.

A world-leading private school, the Doon School in the Indian city of Dehradun is making its facilities available three evenings per week for running of the ModBox programme for young people from nearby slums. The school’s social service coordinator has reported that within just a few months participation has risen from 22 young people to over 100, the attendance rate is always close to 100%, and the ‘enthusiasm quotient’ is exceptional. She notes that some young people who had dropped out of school have returned purely to be part of the ModBox community, and she considers the programme to be one of the best social outreach activities that the school has undertaken. The school is now helping to meet the cost of employing two coaches.

A DFAT official has described the modified boxing programme as ‘exemplary’ in terms of its alignment with the DFAT vision for sport diplomacy. DFAT originally funded the programme for a one-year period but, in recognition of the early achievements, it recently provided a second grant that will assure continuation until the end of September 2018.

 

 

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Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 22:13