RFYS launches a Pan-India unified competition

Mumbai, August 27, 2016: On a rain-sodden afternoon at Jio Gardens, Mrs Nita Ambani, Chairperson, Reliance Foundation kicked-off an ambitious multi-discipline pan-India school and college sports programme under the banner of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS).

The year-long programme is set to incorporate 2,200 teams and 40,000 youth playing football across eight cities: Guwahati, Kochi, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Goa. The teams were divided into four categories i.e. Junior Boys, Senior Boys, Senior Girls and College Boys.

In the opening match, Hassaram Rijhumal (HR) College featured against Wilson College in the Senior Girls category. After a crackle of quick chances at either ends, HR College got the break-through goal early on in the first-half, courtesy of their no.7 Muskan Chauhan. At the restart, Dirshana Shah – a second-half substitute – scored HR College’s second goal to give her side a two-goal cushion. A spirited display of competitiveness and enthusiasm for the game made for a positive remark on the inaugural. A first-class team display from HR College’s Muskan Chauhan earned her the first Player of the Match title.

Over the course of three months, the pre-qualifying rounds will be played across Mumbai and rest of the cities in the coming days. “Reliance Foundation will also introduce the ‘Student Athlete’ program at early student life to scout, nurture, guide and create a viable career path for young sports people across the country in all discipline of sports,” says Mrs Nita Ambani.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi digitally launched the programme earlier. A few days ago, the foundation joined hands with Adidas, who will provide official match balls for the programme and partner with all the City Champions qualifying for the National Finals as kit partners.

Damyant Singh, Senior Marketing Director, Adidas India, expressed, “A crucial link that was missing was the existence of a unified School & College competition that would give young athletes the opportunity to showcase & test their skills against the best in India. RFYS will fundamentally change the way the next generation of Indians coach, train & compete.”

The RFYS initiative is in sync with the Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ vision ‘Khelo India’ to bring together a unified and professional system in India to develop sports, players and a sporting ecosystem. RFYS will produce video footage of the competitions, making the scouting process for raw talent and player and gameplay analysis easier.

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF says, “The RFYS campus football competition is a welcome step to bolster the building blocks of football grassroots development as it integrates with AIFF’s vision to promote youth participation.”

In late June this year, “Mission 11 Million” was launched – an AIFF effort backed by FIFA. Initially, it is to be launched in 30 Indian cities by October ’16, aimed at engaging over 11 million children in football-related activities.

Whether efforts from RFYS or AIFF towards developing grassroots will help overcome obstacles is the Indian football landscape needs time – as India prepares for the FIFA under-17 World Cup.

Thank you for your time! Please keep following us at www.footballcounter.com for daily Mumbai Football update and featured articles. Happy weekend!

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