FJPL for a Cause, as the name suggests is a Level 2 tournament that is organized in an IPL style format minus the commercial element and all for a Worthy Cause!

How does it work?

There are team owners who are given a set of points and each of the participating player are assigned a set of points, based on skill level. The team owners “buy” a team by contributing the cost of owning a team for the Cause. The players “pay” a fees for the Cause to participate in the tournament.

The team owners then (this is the fun part), go through an “auction” with the available points to pick players from the pool to form a team. The teams will play games over two weekends and a winner gets to take home a trophy and a small prize from the academy.

All the proceeds from the event are directly transmitted to a registered non-profit (501c3) organization to support their noble endeavor.

The first edition of this hugely successful marquee tournament was held in October, 2020 over two weekends. The cause we supported was Sadhana Sangama, a 501c3 registered organization invested in education for kids from a remote village in Karnataka, India.

This is what Vikram Dayalu, who is an active community leader, coach with us and a volunteer at this organization had to say about this event.

Sadhana Sangama Vidyalaya is located in a rural part of Karnataka and is under 100 km away from the IT hub of India, Bangalore. We would assume that the technological advances and improved infrastructure would have trickled down to the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, access to reliable internet and cell phone services is an ongoing issue in that area where the school is located.

Pre- COVID, this limited infrastructure was compensated by extensive resources that were provided on the school’s campus and by the involved school’s faculty. With COVID and the ensuing stay at home orders, classroom-based instruction has been halted for all grades (K-10). During the early stages of the pandemic, the school administration made a conscious/deliberate decision to retain faculty/teachers and provide them with a full salary. As the pandemic continued on, some of the teachers decided to relocate closer to their hometowns. However, a core staff was retained (particularly teachers for the 8th, 9th and 10th grades). In hindsight, this was a good decision. The teachers have been able to help the students in these groups (particularly 10th grade) prepare for their board/qualifying exams.

An innovative aspect of the instruction has been using WhatsApp based education modules. Teachers have recorded class lessons and posted on WhatsApp groups. While the parents of the students have access to smart phones, the cell network is not reliable; however, they have been able to access the content when the parents travel closer to areas where coverage is available and the students are able to watch the content offline at their own convenience. Further, WhatsApp has been used for communication purposes. Finally, the government’s efforts in providing access is slowly beginning to make an impact and work is underway to bring the internet cable to the school’s premises. Therefore the primary expense for the school has been on retaining personnel and to support infrastructure, Sadhana Sangama international and Falcons Jr club have collaborated over the last two years and have raised close to 10,000 dollars over two years. This funding has been extremely critical during this pandemic considering that approximately 30,000 dollars was provided to the school to sustain it’s day to day operations. We are excited for post- pandemic activities that offer us and our families an opportunity to volunteer our time and money to support the education of the boys and girls in this school. The educational outcomes are way over the state numbers and we are hopeful to provide avenues and training and support college preparation.