Ashok Leyland & Sportz Village initiative of ‘Road to School’ program for rural kids

By auther pic. Smita Singh

March 23, 2020

Ashok Leyland & Sportz Village initiative of ‘Road to School’ program for rural kids

Children being trained under ‘Road to school’ CSR

Ashok Leyland – one of India’s largest automobile companies has been working to improve education outcomes in government schools across Tamil Nadu. Under their flagship “Road to School” program, Ashok Leyland has implemented a learning enhancement program for primary and middle school students in a bid to nurture both scholastic and co-scholastic development. The program started in 2015 in 36 schools in and around Hosur. It has now currently expanded to cover close to 400 schools across various regions in Tamil Nadu.

Educational sports activity for kids in Government school

To help further improve co-scholastic development of children in government schools, Ashok Leyland partnered with Sportz Village Foundation. Sportz Village, India's largest youth sports organization, is working with over 1300 schools across 250 locations impacting over 7,00,000 children. The organization believes in makingsports an integral part of the education of a child and is working towards developing a healthier and fitter generation by using a Structured Sports and Physical Education (P.E) curriculum.


Sportz Village implemented its ‘Sport for Change’ program in 151 schools starting in 2017. The program aimed to improve health and  educational outcomes as well as social-emotional learning skills of the children through in-school sports programs.


Sportz Village’s pioneering ‘Sport for Change’ program uses physical activity and sports to drive change. The program is scientifically researched, highly tested and well-integrated into the core education process of the schools. The highly awarded ‘Sport for Change’ program has helped improve the lives of over 30,000 children who attend government schools.

Children being engaged in Sport activity

The program has been designed keeping in mind the physical and physiological needs of children. The curriculum is age-appropriate and ensures that every child is meaningfully engaged. The program consists of bi-annual assessments that measure and track the health and fitness of the children. During these assessments the children are evaluated on various fitness and skill parameters. Their performance can be then compared with fitness of children from the rest of India and remedial measures can be then taken. The assessments also help in identifying the strengths of any child. This could be then used to suggest sports that the child could take up.


The program has also designed in such a way that it takes into the consideration the challenges that each school faces  - in terms of lack of space available for conducting sports activities. Certain activities within the program can be done in extremely limited spaces as well as indoors, which is especially useful during adverse weather conditions.


The program has been implemented in partnership with Learning Links Foundation (LLF) a non-profit organization which works to improve education standards across South Asia. As part of this program, Sportz Village supports the LLF personnel viz Resource Persons (RPs) and Life Skill Coordinators (LSCs) to help implement the Sportz Village curriculum.

Programs being implemented by trained teachers

Over the past 3 years the program has positively impacted the health of the children. There has been a significant improvement in various health parameters such as upper body strength, abdominal strength, aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity and BMI. There has also been a significant improvement in the classroom behavior and attendance of children in schools as evident from testimonials from school staff and students.


The introduction of the sports program has improved the academic performance of students by giving them an incentive to attend schools. The ‘Sport for Change’ program has now expanded to cover close to 400  schools under Ashok Leyland’s ‘Road to School’ program.


The reason for the improved academic performance is because sport acts as a tool or magnet to attract children towards attending. Whereas in their normal lives, they might not have an opportunity to play sports with the required equipment and guidance, these programs provide the opportunity for the same.


The program also helps girl students to gain confidence and participate in activities that they might not have been able to be a part of previously because of social mores.


These programs also help the children express themselves in a healthy and constructive manner and has positively impacted the classroom behavior and the inter-personal skills of the students.


Commenting on the program OV Narayan, the headmaster of the Panchayat Union Middle School in Chennai said “The props and equipment that have been provided by this project are very useful for our school students. This initiative has helped the school students participate in the sports activities.”


“Before the introduction of this project I used to take a day’s leave every week and play at home. Now I am more regular at school and enjoy being part of the Sportz Village classes” said Asha, a student from Pudur school in Chennai


Mr.Balachandar N. V., President-HR, Communication and CSR says “As part of our vision of improving the quality of education in TN government schools, we felt introducing sports for children in school would help children learn key life-skills and also have fun. We are delighted with our partnership with Sportz Village as the children, parents and teachers have benefited from the structured, age-appropriate and inclusive sports program. With the implementation of this project, we have made a positive impact on the lives of these children."

Empowerment of rural kids physically and intellectually

The future objectives of the program are to build skills and capabilities of the school staff so that they will be able to run these sports activities on their own. Although they would require support in terms of training, sports equipment and curriculum framework. Whereas right now the program focuses on primary and middle school children , it could be extended to young adults where the focus would be on teaching skills to improve employability. Community development programs could also be started for this age group which address various social issues such as lack of gender equity.


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Smita currently finished her masters from Economics Major. Being an introvert personality, writing suits best to her. She has vivid experience in the content area from writing research papers to writing content for various websites, blogs & stories. Smita has worked for a Patna based digital marketing company named DigiwaleBabu.


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