Television

Nita Ambani launches ISL grassroots football programme

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MUMBAI: When the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) was introduced, there was a lot of talk about emphasis being laid on the development of the sports at the grassroots level. Football Sports Development (FDSL) founder and chairperson Nita Ambani, launched the league’s grassroots football movement recently.



The programme aims to create a platform for the development of grassroots football activity and talent-scouting across the country. It aims to reach out to a million young footballers in the first few years and expose them to the best practices in global football.



“Sports is important to build character and channelise the abundant energy of our children in a positive direction. Now that we are approaching the business-end of the league, we are launching the soul of ISL – the grassroots programme,” Ambani said.



This long-term initiative will be a joint effort of  ISL, the eight ISL clubs, Reliance Foundation and three NGOs - Magic Bus in Mumbai, Delhi, Raigad and Bangalore; slum soccer in Nagpur, Thane and Navi Mumbai; and Yuwa in Jharkhand.



In the first phase, the programme will aim to reach out to 5,00,000 children through in-school and maidan initiatives, beginning early 2015. The outreach will focus on introduction of kids to football, training and talent-scouting through a series of selection modules across the country.



ISL will also distribute 1,00,000 footballs with a specific focus on towns and villages across the country.



Being Human founder and actor Salman Khan, who endorsed the programme said, “I am happy to be part of the programme and Ambani’s vision to develop India as a footballing nation. This programme will shape the next generation of Indian footballers.”



Top talent in the age group of 10 to 13 that emerges from these camps will undergo another selection process to be picked for Reliance Foundation’s YoungChamps scholarship. The full-time residential scholarship, provided over three-to-seven year period, will also cover their education.

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