What Is The Road Ahead of FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017? – Inspire A Generation Summit 2017

Monday, 23 October, Mumbai: India Rush Soccer Club in association with Mumbai District Football Association organized the first edition of  ‘Inspire A Generation Football Summit 2017’, holding engagements amongst important stakeholders to participate in the road ahead of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup. The occasion welcomed Tim Schulz, Founder President of Rush Soccer & a former USWNT Coach for FIFA U20 World Cup, Claude Bolton, Technical Director of India Rush SC and Former Tech. Director of Guyana Football Federation, Shaji Prabhakaran, Author and Former FIFA Regional Development Officer and Henry Menezes, CEO of Western India Football Association (WIFA) & Dy. Chairman Technical Committee, All India Football Federation (AIFF) as guest speakers. The event was held at well-known Otters Club, Mumbai.

As the FIFA Under-17 World Cup enters its semifinal stage, the question in our minds is ‘What is next?’ This was central to the theme for Inspire A Generation Football Summit 2017. By communicating with important members of the football fraternity, the occasion aimed to provide answers and create a dialogue to encourage and inspire non-football minds and help them understand about the untapped potential India possesses.

The host for the event Mihir Joshi, himself an enthusiastic football fan and Stadium anchor of ISL club kept the event lively and sporty.

Claude Bolton expressed his experience in Guyana and Canada in terms of how mega-events like FIFA World cup helped the development of football. He also expressed the passion and determination this country has for the sport and that it was clearly evident during his time in India.

Shaji Prabhakaran was part of the committee that discussed the idea of hosting a World Cup in India, way back in 2011; he shared purpose behind hosting a youth World Cup and also about the importance empowering Indian coaches as it holds the key to a long-term growth.

Meanwhile, Henry Menezes also brought forward how Maharashtra has taken to football over the run-up to the world cup. Menezes expressed about the importance of establishing of junior-level leagues and mentioned that there has been a real shift in approach, whereby now district associations in Maharashtra have felt the need to nurture the football players from the age of four.

Abhijit Dabhade, COO of International Institute of Sports Management (IISM) also shared his insight into the general acceptance of sports culture in India and the importance of creating off the field sports professional.

Tim Shulz shared the stage with Dennis Fernandes, Hon. CEO of India Soccer Club and shared about the growth that he (Tim) has seen across the world in countries such as the United States of America (USA) and some African countries. He highlighted that India is on the right path and faces a similar situation the USA faced, and how hosting the 94’ World Cup really changed the dynamics of the sport in the country. Dennis Fernandes summarized the way these five-years since 2012 up till the FIFA U-17 World Cup, has been able to bring about the best for all stakeholders, in terms of infrastructure and growth model, but most importantly having a structure and pathway to progress further.

This year’s summit provided a platform, at an important time, where the FIFA U-17 World Cup’17 needs to be seen and treasured as a landmark achievement, but also to keep up momentum generated by the World Cup to achieve the larger goals through collaborative effort; whether it is a player, coach, referee, fan, club, district association, state or national authorities.

About India Rush Soccer Club

INDIA RUSH SOCCER CLUB is an AIFF accredited academy and International partner of Rush Soccer USA with a mission to provide globally proven player development pathway from grassroots to Pro in India and Internationally. Rush have employed Technical Directors who have brought the experience of working within Rush USA, as well as working with professional Clubs and Academies in Europe & the US. India Rush SC has participated in the AIFF U13, U15, U18, Indian Women’s League and MDFA Leagues. Over the years India Rush SC has developed players to represent District, State, India, I-league, ISL clubs & International Club. MRSC is affiliated with AIFF, WIFA, and MDFA.

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