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A Khel Vikas volunteer’s sporting tale from an Indian summer
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Sam Ross, strength and conditioning undergraduate from London, spent four weeks volunteering this summer with sport development organisation Pro4Sport Solutions (P4SS).

Planning

For one month this summer I decided to travel to the rural hinterlands of India in search of something different. My interest in the Khel Vikas project was sparked through an advert placed on my university weightlifting club forum. After some research into the programme and viewing the inspirational videos produced by P4SS, I got in touch with the team and began to plan my travel to Odisha.

Arrival
After a long journey comprised of three flights and one train ride, I reached Berhampur. The Gram Vikas location is picturesque. The accommodation is simple but pleasant, comprising of several bungalows and houses set within the tall coconut and mango trees.

Assignments
My first assignment was to design a 3-month cricket conditioning programme with my fellow intern, Surender Choudhary. The aim was to increase children’s movement capacity as well as build confidence and technical proficiency across general strength exercises.

I was simultaneously involved with both the junior and senior weightlifting squads. During the initial sessions I introduced basic gymnastics to test overall motor capacity. Later on, I was in charge of the junior sessions that were aimed at increasing technical proficiency and strength specifically within the weightlifting movements. The language barrier at times proved tricky and I often relied on changes in pitch and tone to get my message across. The children were extremely friendly and loved to trade local words in exchange for  English words.

Amazing adventure
Every child deserves the right to physical activity and by laying the foundation for their participation in sport, P4SS is offering a pathway for these children to progress in the rightful way. To sum up, I will say if you are looking for the most amazing adventure whilst contributing to a very real and worthwhile cause, this really is a great place to begin.


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

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