The ever present Kochi in Indian Blind Football calendar

Ever since Blind Football began in India, Kerala has been an integral part of it. From holding preparatory camps for Asian Championships, reaching finals in All India Blind Football tournaments to the opening of India’s first ever Blind Football Academy, Kochi has always been one of the top destination for Blind Footballers of India.

Kerala has been a preferred location for training and preparatory camps thanks to the available infrastructure. Players would come down to Kochi for their training camps before any international tournaments like Asian Championships or Rio Paralympics.

After SRVC and IBFF came together with Indian Blind Football team, Kochi based SRVC side won the 1st official All India Blind Football (AIBF) tournament in May 2016 beating NIVH Dehradun on penalties. In the second edition of AIBF Tournament, Kerala SRVC once again dominated the tournament before falling at the final hurdle against former final opponent losing 0-1 in a close battle.

But the first win in the inaugural edition already set in a vision for a dedicated academy, KBFF (Kerala Blind Football Federation) planned to start the first Blind Football Academy in the country with vocational training that can offer employment as well as blind football training on an ongoing basis to help develop the national side further with goal of berth in 2020 Olympics set in sight.

On September 15, the First Blind Football Academy was finally launched in Kochi with the first batch of 10 members getting enrolled; the academy was inaugurated by the IBSA World Blind Football Chairman & German National team coach Mr Ulrich. The Union Minister of Sports & Industry Shri Alphons Kanathanam enrolled the first Trainee to the Academy.

The Academy offered Vocational skills, training sessions in computers, reflexology, telesales opportunities to the candidates along with Yoga, fitness training & good nutrition. The aim is to develop a stronger national team for the future.

Recently, Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC interacted with Blind Footballers in the city, watching them play, interacting and sharing their experiences. KBFC holds a special place for the Kerala fans and Kochi’s dedication to blind football just proves how deep the love for the game lies.

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