Sustained Development Through Sports

We provide a basic chance for children from socio-economic weaker segments of the society to achieve excellence in sports.

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Bridges of Sports

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 250 - 500

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City

Bangalore, India

Location(s) of impact

India: Chikmagalur, Mundgod.


Facebook URL

Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The Siddis are an Indo-African community confined into forest areas and coastal belt of India, living with racism and neglected since 400 years and since independence. The Siddis are relying on sports to train and represent India with hope that - it will aid their acceptance into the mainstream Indian society but have failed to get support from govt. or private organisations. We are providing impetus for children from such communities through sports, for their sustained development and integration into society.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Together with Ex-Olympians, we work with children from socio-economic backward communities. Irrespective of their gender, ability or disability we give them an opportunity train, excel and have a career in sports. The kids are coached in specific sports, at their schools by the brightest athletes and teachers of their community who dedicate 2 years of their life to be on our fellowship as coaches. We implement interval skills program during the 2 years, for the fellows providing them training on use of technology, curriculum etc to enable them to be micro entrepreneurs post the fellowship, with a focus on creation of more employment opportunities at community level. We aim to develop the ecosystem, inclusively by involving the brightest people of their community who also serve as role models. The fellowship model will build a strong alumni movement of leaders who will share their value working with other local organisations, schools or independently post fellowship.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We would like to give an example of the social impact generated by restarting the sports program for the Siddi Community. Our fellows travelled 800 kms across forest dwellings of Karnataka to meet Siddi children and convince their parents to let them join school and train in sports. Currently we train 150 children at a local community school. Together along with schooling, they have amassed more than 20 medals including 7 Gold and 4 children qualified for State Athletics meet. The areas we work, lack sustained means of employment avenues, which leads to negative impact on the environment due material consumption and antisocial behaviour. For the first time since independence, the Siddis are sustainably moving out of seclusion. Through sports, they channelise their energy into creating better value for themselves, their community and the environment. Today we are working with over 15 fellows, impacting 4 communities and over 500 children. In 2018, we will be working with 60 fellows.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

We are currently incubated in Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and supported by Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. We are also recognised as "top 20 exceptional new-age nonprofits of India”, with a potential to scale by N/Core which is backed by Nandan Nilekani and Tata Trusts. We are also finalist at TFIx an initiative by Teach for India and have secured position in the final round of Millennium Alliance Grant and received in-kind tech grant from Google. Currently we financed through grants. We will move from grants to sponsorships and work with organisations and schools to provide skill development and vocational training in sports and sports related courses. And finally crowdfunding through accessing the retail market will from the crucial core areas towards our sustainability.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We are aiming to develop the ecosystem, inclusively and sustainably by involving the brightest athletes and teachers from the local community who also serve as role models to the children. Our fellowship model, enables building of a strong alumni movement of leaders, role models and coaches which will work with local government and organisations to help create community centric initiatives. This will act as a BRIDGE to their integration in social and economic activity of the nation.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

We believe that education for all should not just looked upon as means to improve learning or mathematical skills. It should not just be access to basic education but access to excellent education covering all areas from arts to sports, from language skills to STEM education. Our founder, during his Fellowship at American Indian Foundation, undertook few case studies on organisations using sports in communities doing an excellent job at this and have actually shown results where children have grown out and taken leadership roles in their community post their secondary schooling. We believe access to experiences outside the classroom setting by creating platforms for children to exercise their diversities are crucial to nurture their leadership skills in creating a sustainable social change. Bridges of Sports was born to implement this idea at a scale needed to initiate radical change.

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Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 50%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 0%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 50%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Prabhakar Rao

Congratulations Nitishji; It is heart-warming to note the initiative of reaching out to the community of Siddhis, who have all along been marginalised all these centuries. Having seen these people while working in Uttara Kannada many decades back, I perceive that this is a good target group, having a good physical attributes for sporting endeavours and prepared to work hard, being used to the rough life. The idea of combining sporting excellence in particular and healthy life support system through sports in these circumstances can sustainably work under two basic conditions, particularly for the reason that, despite all the best efforts, pinnacle of excellence can be reached only by a few:1) Academics – learning life skills that go beyond sports 2)Intent of the family to support their wards, despite the current Socio-economic context of most of the families, where the children are thought to be adding to the labour earning capacity of the family. While BoS is linking & encouraging schooling for the children as an integrated idea, the latter needs to be taken care of equally. I think that constant talk with & counselling of the families-community leaders can go well for the latter, while local industries , who can be good sponsors of these initiatives in the next phase, they also can be of an economic support to the families by employment prefernces; so that the children of the community can be allowed to try out their life , a privilege enjoyed by more affluent & urban counterparts, by striving to reach sporting excellence.
All the best BoS & Nitish..Keep making ripples… they will turn to waves…with your perseverance and support that your intent is bound be generating all around….

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thank you Prabhakar Rao for in-depth perspectives. Yes, we are making sure to have constant interaction with parents to share our idea and discuss their views and the role they can play.

Photo of Ajit Kaverappa

Excellent Nitish, coorg is considered as a cradle for the Indian hockey and produced many Olympians and international players. Please consider expanding your initiative to this region where talent is in abundance, only thing that lacks is opportunity. I am confident your organization would be able to provide that. Keep up your good work, all the best

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Sure. We have already had initial interaction with coorg :)

Photo of Shazeeb

Love the way this initiative has chosen sports to bring a change in the community. Best wishes for the future!

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thanks Shazeeb 

Photo of MUKUND N

Hi Nitish ! Indeed a novel idea to support and encourage the hidden talents of children mainly from socio economic weaker sections to pursue and achieve excellence in sports of their choice. My congratulations and best wishes for the success of such a wonderful initiative.

Photo of kumar nitant

The idea has immense potential, but might require support and guidance from people both in and outside of the sports ecosystem, have you interacted with any individuals or do you have any mentors ?

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Hello kumar nitant , yes we have an advisory board consisting of leaders from social, sustainable development and strong sports background. Our advisory board members are mentioned below,
Colin Coulson-Thomas (Director-General, Institute of Directors, India and Europe operations),
Shikha Tandon (Swimming, Athen Olympics and holds multiple advanced degrees in biotechnology, genetics and biochemistry), Bharat Chetri (Indian hockey captain, 2012 Olympics), R. K Dubey (Ex Chairman & MD, Canara Bank), Neha Aggarwal (Table Tennis, Bejing Olympics and Graduate from Columbia University in Sports Management), Aparna Athreya (Founder of Parent & Kid Foundation, India) and Devika Malik (Asian Rep for commonwealth youth sport for development and peace)

Photo of Leonard Ebute

I would like to be in touch with your project. Good job!

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

sure, will like to keep you updated. Please do drop an email at

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

The sports practice as an educational tool aims at the integral development of children, adolescents and young people, enables the individual to deal with their needs, desires and expectations, as well as with the needs, expectations and desires of others, so that they can develop the technical, social and communicative skills, essential for their individual and social development process. Sport, as a pedagogical instrument, must be integrated into the general purposes of education, development of individualities, training for citizenship and orientation to social practice. The pedagogical field of the Sport is an open field for the exploration of new senses / meanings, that is, it allows them to be explored by the action of the students involved in the different situations.
In addition to expanding the experimental field of the individual, it creates obligations, stimulates the intellectual and physical personality and offers real chances of social integration. n the midst of these discoveries of the sport what is revolutionizing nowadays the schools is called Radical Sport. The adrenaline, excitement and pleasure of exercising in this adventure makes the student reach different ways to learn a movement and integrate into the social environment. Teaching the practice of extreme sports is to prepare the student to perform certain skills by discovering the pleasure of exercising. All this involving security, good professionals and educators are always around. For the child or adolescent to be in contact with the adrenaline, nature and adventure is the way to develop other skills and at this time that is shown the potential of each one. Through these classes it is possible to adapt the disciplines given in the classroom, showing and making the child develop better.

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thanks a lot Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck for taking time out and expressing your views in detail. It really helps to hear different perspectives.

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Their work is fantastic and helps in education which is the pillar of all development. I have to thank for their fundamental role that certainly helps a lot to make our world better and better. Best regards.

Photo of Kowsik Krishnan

Nitish, this is excellent work. Congrats for starting this. You are not only helping Siddis, or any other community going forward, but also the wider population by educating them about the current state of affairs. Anyone who reads this will be inspired to do their bit to help.
Going forward, feel free to reach out for anything that you would need for any of us. Will help spread your message far and wide.

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Sure, thanks for reaching out to support us!

Photo of Vijay Simha Gotur

First of all, hearty congratulations to Bridges of Sports for having achieved what the have so far, both in terms of social impact and grants! I look forward to seeing them make a greater impact with their initiative and gain further recognition.
I am particularly fascinated with the community specific fellowship model of Bridges of Sports. Can you elaborate a bit more on how the fellows are acquired ? How is this program is made visible to athletes in specific communities, who are interested in such a fellowship program ?

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Hello @Vijay Simha Gotur, we have quite a robust system of selecting the fellows. Importantly, we work with the local government and publicise the fellowship through the government first. You will also be surprised, the number people on Watsapp and Facebook, Local Watsapp and Facebook groups are our second means of reaching out to interested candidates. Almost all of the districts in India, have a district playground which remains at the core of our reach out initiatives. We have also designed a referral system, through which we incentivize successful referrals. The response we get usually is huge and typical selection percentage is just around 10% of overall applications. This is crucial as these fellows are role models future leaders, representing the community.

Photo of Sridutt Nayak

This is a unique and extremely important initiative. Currently most of the sports academies' operations are backed up by data, medical analysts who predict the likelihood of success and support the right athletes.

What type of work, partnerships are you considering to bring in this competitive edge?

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thanks Sridutt Nayak for your inputs. Yes, lots of data and analysis is at the core of the elite academies. Our intention is to create a pool who can move into these academies, We already talk with these academies to understand their approach to identifying talent, so that we are aligned to the standards set by them. We are not looking at having competitive edge with the academies. We want work together with them, partner with them and create shared value for all.

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Just a contribution. Congrats for the idea.

Photo of Nithin BG

Excellent initiative . Wish you all the best .

Photo of Ramona D Souza

I congratulate Bridges of Sports for their excellent and selfless work in the field of sports. It takes tremendous amounts of determination and dedication to reach out to communities like the Siddis , encourage and train them, when they have never been exposed to the society outside their secluded lives. there are many children and adults alike who desire the suitable training in their favorite sport but they lack the resources and not encouraged. Now they have you to look forward to who can make their dreams come true. This organization is tapping the right energy from the youth today which will surely make our country shine. I am also amazed on having got to know of the community , Siddis. What is the approach you use in finding out about communities like these?

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thanks Ramona D Souza  for your elaborate feedback. One of the approach we use to identify community is extensive primary and secondary research. Other than interacting with local population, there is lot of research and studies published on secluded communities especially Tribals and socio - economically weaker communities. This forms the basis of our initial outreach, Then we shortlist and meet these communities in person to understand their needs. The shortlisting is based on various parameters including geographic and demographic indicators. Once, we know that we can "sustainably" help them, we start implementing our sports program.

Photo of Echo Store

This is great work and effort you guys have put into creating this platform. To be part of sponsoring Bridge of Sports it would be great to understand the area of sports that you are training them in and how you guys are managing with the training fields and equipment ?

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Hello Echo Store, Thanks for your support. Currently we train Track Athletics and Blind Football. All the Equipments are procured through sustained crowdfunding (You can check our page here: ) and in coming years we will look to partner with exclusive equipment partner. We leverage local district grounds (community grounds) and school space for training fields. Most of these facilities remain under or un-utilised.

Photo of Karthik Mudlapur

Excellent idea. There is so much potential in this country but it fails to come out through system that we currently have. Hope this initiative acts as a platform for children to come out and excel in sports. A big thumbs up to the Bridge of Sports team.

Photo of Nikita Raaj

This is such a tremendous initiative .. I truly believe that a skill like sports not just boosts the kids confidence but helps them build a future for themselves .. I am truly all in for this idea and awaiting to see them grow.. there is such great talent out there and I see such an initiative doing wonders for these kids.. being trained by some really talented folks would get them reaching and earning medals .. everyone keeps talks about doing something..and I am proud to see Bridge of sports bridging that gap...

Photo of Kusuma HV

Great initiative. Very heartening to see a truly committed young man working with under previllaged children to bring out the best in them. Indirectly our country also will be benefited with young, trained sports persons, who can bring laurels to the country.

Photo of Sathish Gowda H.S

In a country like India where population is more than a billion, hardly we could see few great athletes.. very basic reason is lack of infrastructure support and encouragement.
Good to see such a great initiative supporting social economic weaker sections who otherwise would choose a wrong path. Your idea of developing fellowships into entrepreneurs is a great thought which not only provides employment but also helps them to take up more initiatives of this kind. I am sure this will create awareness in the society about sports, helping them to focus on nutritions required for a healthy life in turn towards change in the life style. All the best

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Very true, As put right by our board member " The challenge of finding work and other activities to occupy young people is particularly acute in India, with some 12 million people joining the workforce each year. There are low entry cost sports such as local fun runs in which large numbers of people can participate. Larger numbers of unemployed young people with little or nothing to do
could result in a variety of social issues ! "

Photo of Suman Jha

Involving the athletes and teachers from the local community is a great idea indeed. If students here gets access to excellent education covering all areas from arts to sports, it is really going to transform the future generations athletes. All the best for this aspirational project.⛹��

Photo of Nitish Chiniwar

Thank you Suman Jha. That is true. Local Community empowerment is crucial for sustained change. Giving them access to right skills, knowledge, technology etc will enable them to become self sustainable post the fellowship and support their livelihood.

Photo of Prakash C Majgi

I admire Nitish for coming up with the unique notion of Sustained Development through Sports. Though the project would need time and all the support to realise, I can clearly envision the effects of this project. It will undoubtedly change lives of millions of children.
I wish Nitish great success with this project.

Photo of Nasrad Ayra

Very good initiative...let's get together n hope more gold medals in future from India

Photo of Mahtab Shaariq

Very good initiative for a well noble cause
and also very beautifully drafted. Mr.Nitish,You will be inspiration for youngsters.

Best Wishes

Photo of charumathitl .

Wonderful work by an young man who could have enjoyed hefty salary but chose to sacrifice for greater good. May has tribe increase! People like u make the country rich

Photo of Joel Francis Ravindranath

Change is possible mainly through youngsters,,,,,like you. My best wishes will be always with you.

Photo of Chakkaravarthy P

Unique and innovative ways to bring economic upliftment to the neglected society thru sports. Well done Mr. Nitish. All the very best

Photo of Satish Huliyar Lakshminarayana Rao

Bridging the gap in society through SPORTS......great thinking by young Nithish...Best of luck....

Photo of Nabin Roy

Excellent initiative. Keep up the good work to impact so many lives positively.