Over 10,000 kids to get top-quality coaching to develop football at the grassroots level
by Prashant KapadiaNHN
Mumbai, November 12: Over 10,000 kids in the age-group of 4 to 16 years will receive top-quality coaching as part of an ambitious new initiative to develop football at the grassroots level in Mumbai. IDBI Federal Life Insurance announced this at a press conference on Tuesday, declaring their support for all 40 football centers across Mumbai, stretching from Churchgate to Thane, Juhu to Powai, Lower Parel to Vashi; each of these centres will impart advanced scientific training to these aspiring youngsters in the hope of producing tomorrow’s footballers.
The brainchild of KheloMore, project ‘Football Mania’ will also see the centres and local football clubs compete in a high-profile tournament every Sunday that will test and sharpen their skills on the field. As many as 170 teams will be vying for superiority over the next few months in two different formats: 6-a-side and 7-a-side.
Two hundred certified football coaches have been roped in for the programme and an exhaustive training and competition model has been charted out to mould the kids, including many girls, into well-rounded footballers.India’s top coach, Dronacharya Awardee and Chief National Coach of the Indian badminton team, Dr. Pullela Gopichand, held a mentoring workshop for the coaches on Tuesday, stressing on the importance of discipline, hard work and sportsmanship. Gopichand is also the Project Head of the IDBI Federal Quest For Excellence programme.
“Indian kids are highly talented and could excel in every sport. With the right training, coaching and guidance at the right time, they can become world beaters,” Gopichand said at the press conference. “We need to build a sporting ecosystem and I commend Football Mania for attempting to plug this gap in Mumbai,” he added.
“Football Mania is our newest initiative which aims to nurture the sport of football at the grassroots-level in India. As an organisation, our purpose is empower people to create the life and lifestyle of their choice. Over the years, we have been promoting a healthy way of life through our marathons and our Quest for Excellence badminton programme. Our main goal behind partnering with KheloMore for this initiative is to inculcate the importance of fitness at a young age and encourage more children to step outdoors and get fit and active for a better tomorrow,” Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer of IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said.
“We would like to thank IDBI Federal Life Insurance for coming on board as sponsors. As a country, we have a lot of potential in football but due to lack of exposure and good training at the grassroots, we are not able to produce enough high-quality players. Through Football Mania we aim to change that and create a system which will allow us to spot talent early, give them proper guidance and turn them into the champions of tomorrow,” Jatin Paranjape, CEO and Founder of KheloMore said.