Former India football captain and SSPF National Football Council Chairman Bhaichung Bhutiais excited with the rare distinction given by Government of India. Bhutia said “programs like SSPF should get more importance so that the real talent at grassroots can get exposure at the right time and in right manner.” He said “schools are where our future champions are,” we are sure that this step of Government to recognize SSPF as NSPO will make parents around the country realize how essential it is to balance education and sport.”
SAI Executive Director (Operations & Finance) Hira Ballabh appreciated this step taken bythe Government. “It is a part of our objectives in SAI to promote school sports,” he said. “After getting the recognition from MYAS, SSPF will work more aggressively to promote this noble cause.”
Former international cricketer Chetan Sharma associated with SSPF since its inception as National Cricket Council Chairman said “the stature of NSPO will further strengthen the commitment of SSPF to produce more young talents who will represent India on International platform”.
1962 Asian Games Decathlon Gold Medallist Gurbachan Singh Randhawa and former India volleyball star Om Parkash expressed belief that with the support of Ministry, SSPF will make a significant contribution to the national sports scenario.
The NTSN 2016-17 competitions are slated to start in two phases this year- January & April 2017. In the first phase districts which will complete 8 or more school teams will play. Dates for first phase will be 15- 30 January 2017. Districts which will not be able to complete 8 or more school teams till January will play in the second phase. Dates for second phase will be 10- 25 April 2017.
In its second session, NT-SN will attempt to get around 10,000 school teams across 300 districts in 25 states. Participation of around 2, 00,000 students is expected who will play around 16,000 matches.