Swapna Barman is the recipient of the Rs.1.5 Lakh Annual Sports Scholarship from Great Sports Infra (GSI), South Asia’s leading provider of turnkey solutions for sports infrastructure. This scholarship was instituted to support highly talented and promising sports persons. GSI provided this scholarship as part of GoSports Foundation’s Athlete Mentorship Programme under Rahul Dravid, which identifies and mentors athletes with high potential.
Pursuing a sport other than cricket in India requires a lot of adjustments. Hailing from a small village in West Bengal, Swapna Barman, an 18-year-old heptathlete, has taken adjustments to an entirely new level. Swapna, child of a rickshaw-puller father and a homemaker mother, was born with a special condition of having 6 toes on each foot. Owing to the abnormal width of her feet, she competes in spite of severe pain and discomfort due to lack of suitable sports shoes.
Yet, this talented athlete defied all odds to finish 5th at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014. Swapna has also won Silver at the Junior Asian Track and Field, Chinese Taipei 2014 and Sr. Federation Cup, Patiala 2014. Swapna is currently sweating it out at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Kolkata and aspires to win the Gold medal at the Asian Games in 2018.
Right from its inception, Great Sports Infra has been doing various CSR activities voluntarily. They have supported other sports persons in the past including Rani Rampal, Anuradha Vaidyanathan, Shashi Singhatia, Anurag Kuruvada. They have also supported GreenPeace, HelpAge India, Aitia, few orphanages like Vibha, helped in construction of a school for orphanages called Saraswati Shishu Mandir and few other similar initiatives.
Anil Kumar, Managing Director at Great Sports Infra, says “Through the ‘Great Sports Infra Annual Sports Scholarship’ we intend to support promising sports persons coming from very humble and financially challenged background. Swapna Barman is one such fighter; a heptathlete with immense potential. We hope this scholarship goes some distance in helping achieve Swapna’s dreams and bringing laurels to India.”
Deepthi Bopaiah, Marketing Director at GoSports Foundation, says, “At the GoSports Foundation, we believe that sporting champions are created when the right talent gets the right support at the right time. It is wonderful to see corporates coming forward to support sport as a means of empowerment under their CSR activities, and Great Sports Infra has done this from a very early stage. In the past, they have supported our athlete Rani Rampal, and we would like to thank them for once again coming forward to support Swapna Barman.”