To make Odisha a football powerhouse of India, create a football club culture and give the students of the State an opportunity to live their dream, the SAI-Odisha Football Club (FC) Grassroot Partnership was launched at SAI International School on Monday, November 18, 2019. As a first of its kind in the state, SAI International School will give a pathway to students to become professional football players through this association.
On the occasion Shri Vishal Dev, Secretary, Youth & Sports Dept, Government of Odisha, Dr. Bijaya Kumar Sahoo, Founder SAI International Education Group and Advisor Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan, Shri Rohan Sharma, Owner, Odisha Football League, Mr. Martin Bain, CEO, Indian Super League (ISL), Mr. Josep Gombau, Head Coach, Odisha FC, Shri Thangboi Singto, Assistant Coach, Odisha FC and others were present.
Shri Dev stated that this partnership will create an eco-system for a brighter development of football in the state. He said that the programme gives the state an opportunity to tap the potential of the young football players from across Odisha.
Mr. Bain expressed that the smile and enthusiasm of the people of India for football pulled him to the country. He elaborated on the importance of football club culture which is to bring together people with a love for the game and collaboratively develop the sport. He added that the association will set new standards and enhance professional ethos in the young players.
Shri Sharma shared about his dream of Odisha FC and encouraged the students to play more of football and can think about making it a career. Mr. Gombau said that he looks forward to work hard with coaches and players to play as a team with heightened skill. Shri Singto added that this is an attempt to train young players to improve the prospect of football in the country. He advised the students that apart from playing, its also very important to be a good person.
Dr. Sahoo said that this partnership is a momentous occasion for the School and will give impetus to the students to pursue the game with heightened dedication. He shared that football is played in almost all the villages of Odisha and there are many children who are good players. This programme will give an opportunity to these players to come to the forefront.
The partnership includes creating state teams both boys and girls in the under-7, under-9 and under-11 category. As SAI International School will be the official partner of the Odisha-FC Grassroots Program, Odisha FC will guide the school to develop a structured training programme both for boys and girls. The school coaches will be guided with coaching methodology & curriculum to provide elite level training in the campuses of SAI International School and SAI International Residential School on a weekly basis.
This is the first grassroot school partnership in the Club’s history. It will work towards tapping the sporting potential of the children and provide a wholesome development in the game of football. The collaboration will start the first AIFF Golden Baby League in Odisha which will be an inter-school league with matches played every week for over a period of time.
Government of Odisha in association with Delhi Soccer Private Limited launched the Odisha Football Club (FC) for the Indian Super League (ISL) in Odisha, comprising of renowned national and international footballers.