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Producing sports equipment locally with limited resources

Producing sports equipment locally with limited resources

A Gram Vikas project in eastern India highlights what can be done with a bit of ingenuity, creating much needed weightlifting equipment despite financial constraints.

As branded products were difficult to buy with a small budget, local materials were used to make the essential equipment for weightlifting. Instead of purchasing an expensive weightlifting platform, foam rollers and proper shoes for the tribal children of Kankia, a Gram Vikas school, Indian rubber door mats, plastic cricket balls and rubber heels were used.

The plywood used was obtained from the packaging of solar cells. It wasn’t the best quality available but was sturdy enough for building a durable platform. As thick industrial rubber was difficult to find and beyond our budget, the door mats were purchased and laid on the platform with the help of the children. This rubber now added to the sides so the weights could be dropped without being damaged and the training environment was safer.

Foam rollers were difficult to find in India and importing them wasn’t a possibility, so two plastic cricket balls were fastened together using medical tape. This innovation was simple and a quick solution to the problem. 

Training bare-footed was another issue that needed to be addressed. Canvas shoes were purchased and, with the help of a local cobbler, a rubber heel was added to give the same support and stability of a weightlifting shoe. These initiatives were simple but a major development in the programme.

We have ensured the innovations are sustainable and can be replicated. They are not only low-cost, but also relevant to weightlifting development at grassroots level where resources are limited. The raw material used for making sporting equipment and gear, in this case, has availability even in remotest of places and offers greater durability, reliability and expanded utility.

About the project
Pro4Sport Solutions in partnership with multiple award winning NGO, Gram Vikas, is working to develop sport in each of Gram Vikas’ four schools in the poorest state of India. Khel Vikas is a project which aims to provide every underprivileged (and tribal) child in Odisha with the right to play, ensuring their holistic development and growth as confident and competent learners.

Watch this video to find out more about the weightlifting programme:

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]


Article type



Rohan Kandoi


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 23:00