Youth economic development through sport
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Economic aid plays an important role in enhancing youth participation in sport. It is, in fact, an imperative for women’s involvement as they have it harder.

Youth often lack the access to economic resources, when it comes to participating in sports and physical activities. Pursuing sport professionally can also be a challenge if there is limited financial comfort, especially in the global south.  Its even tougher for women, as they are at the lowest pedestal of society, which exacerbates their struggle of making it big in the field of sports. In order to harness the boundless potential of youth in the domain of sports, it is important to economically aid and encourage them.

Exploring youth’s potential via economic aid

Kickoff Solutions has collaboratively initiated a scholarship with Pro Sport Development (PSD), which aims at building capacities and leadership skills of five talented young women in India, in order for them to excel in sports, complete their education and gain economic empowerment through the provision of financial assistance. The scholarship goes beyond monetary support, as it also strives to guide the recipients through trainings and capacity-building sessions. The larger objective is to holistically equip young girls and eliminate socio-economic barriers from their roads to success.

All candidates possess extraordinary caliber, grit and determination. They were selected from the cohorts of the Community Sport Program (CSP) run by PSD in Bhubaneswar, Odisha India. Participants were selected based on their economic background, leadership skills and years of association with PSD. 

Cultivating confidence

The training sessions place primary emphasis on boosting the leadership skills of the recipients, as one of the main outcomes of the scholarship is to train them for peer leadership. This will contribute to building their confidence, further enabling them to use the acquired leadership skills and confidence in other spheres of life. This will also ensure efficiency in utilizing and managing the scholarship amount, as the confidence can help the candidates make better decisions.

In addition to this, the Kickoff Solutions scholarship has given recipients the liberty to use the scholarship money on anything that helps them grow. They are not mandated to restrict their utilization to just one area. Handling expenses can be a vital learning experience for the recipients, as it inculcates a sense of independence and fosters self-awareness.  The PSD trainers are available to offer support and guidance, in case a recipient faces difficulty in handling their expenses.

Forging ahead

Economic empowerment is highly significant for women to break free from the shackles of patriarchy. The Kickoff Solutions Scholarship stands extremely relevant in this regard because it economically supports women, as well as encourages their participation in sport.

The girls selected for the scholarship program belong to economically humbler backgrounds and the aid will allow these young women to uplift themselves within their households by reducing the economic burdens of the family. The scholarship will also act as an enabling tool for the candidates to participate in sports and help them question the stereotypical notion of sport inherently being a ‘masculine’ field. Therefore, financial support can help women transcend the domestic boundaries, moving a step ahead in their journeys to overthrow systemic inequalities.


Isha Saxena is a Research Associate at Pro Sport Development (PSD), an award-winning social enterprise that uses sport as a tool for the holistic development of children and youth based in India.


Senior Project Officer
Pro Sport Development


Football (Soccer)
Sustainable Development Goals
5 - Gender equality
Target Group
Girls and women

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